Deaths and hundreds wounded in Beirut blasts: Red Cross
At least ten people were reported dead, medical sources told The New Arab’s Arabic-language site, adding that there were still bodies inside the port, many of them under debris.
Georges Kettaneh, the president of the Lebanese Red Cross, referred to "hundreds of wounded" in a statement on Lebanese LBC television, adding: "We are overwhelmed by phone calls."
A civil defence official on the scene of the blast said his team had evacuated dozens to hospitals, where there were calls for urgent blood donations.
General Security chief Abbas said that the explosions, which hit Beirut on Tuesday, may have been caused by explosive materials confiscated years ago and stored at the city's port.
"It appears that there is a warehouse containing material that was confiscated years ago, and it appears that it was highly explosive material," the senior security official said, adding that an investigation would be launched into the explosions.
Videos circulated online supposedly showing outside of a warehouse, where fireworks-like explosions can be heard.
Further videos showed a fire raging at the port minutes later, sending up a giant column of smoke. The fire then appeared to catch at a nearby building, triggering a more massive explosion, sending up a mushroom cloud and a shock wave over the city.
Lebanon's Prime Minister Hasan Diab has declared Wednesday a day of mourning, and President Michel Aoun called for "urgent" defence council talks.