More than 60 still missing after Beirut mega-blast, health ministry confirms

More than 60 still missing after Beirut mega-blast, health ministry confirms
Sixty people are still missing, while 154 are confirmed dead following the devastating explosion in Beirut's port, the Lebanese health ministry has confirmed
2 min read
Medical tents at the site of the explosion in Beirut's port [Getty]
More than 60 people are still missing in Beirut, four days after a massive explosion at the port left more than 150 people dead, a health ministry official said Saturday.

"The number of dead is 154, including 25 who have not yet been identified," the official told AFP. "In addition, we have more than 60 people still missing."

The health minister said on Friday that at least 120 of the 5,000 people who were injured on Tuesday are in critical condition.

Officials have said a huge shipment of hazardous ammonium nitrate had languished for years in a warehouse at the port and somehow caught fire, leading to Tuesday's earth-shaking blast.

However Lebanese President Michel Aoun rejected any international probe into the catastrophic blast, saying he saw it as an attempt to "dilute the truth".

Aoun admitted on Friday he had known about the huge stockpile of explosive material stored at the port nearly three weeks before it blew up. He claimed to have ordered action be taken about it at the time, although the top leader also said he had no authority over the facility.

The World Health Organization has called for $15 million to cover immediate health needs.

Read also: Beirut Explosion: Be angry, not just sad, for Lebanon

Lebanon's hospitals, already strained by rising coronavirus cases and a severe economic crisis, were heavily damaged by the blast and overwhelmed by casualties.

The United Nations said up to 100,000 children are among the 300,000 people made homeless, including many who have been separated from their families.

Relief flights from Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates landed in Lebanon on Friday, following others from France, Kuwait, Qatar and Russia.

US President Trump said three US planes loaded with supplies were on the way to Lebanon, as were first responders and medical workers.

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