At least 30 killed, hundreds wounded in Beirut explosion: health ministry
Earlier, medical sources told The New Arab’s Arabic-language site that at least ten people were killed but 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.
Lebanon's Prime Minister Hasan Diab said an investigation has opened into the contents of the warehouse, which appears to have held the materials since 2014.
Diab vowed that those responsible for Beirut "catastrophe" will be held to account. He also declared Wednesday a day of mourning.
An Israeli government official said Israel "had nothing to do" with Beirut blast.
Al Mayadeen television quoted a defence official as saying the explosion was not caused by a terrorist act.