An earth shaking blast tore through Beirut on Tuesday, killing dozens, and injuring thousands, officials said.
The blast, caught on video by those nearby, occurred at the site of a burning fire near the port in the Lebanese capital, throwing people miles away onto their backs, ripping balconies off buildings and sending glass flying, witnesses said.
LEBANESE WOMAN, JOEL SHAMOUN, SAYING: "We were at home, we heard what sounded like fireworks, we thought it was a container in the port that was on fire and they weren't able to put it out, a few seconds later we were flying through the air."
LEBANESE MAN, FAREED SHAARAWI, SAYING: "We heard the first explosion, we went to see what happened, I didn't have time, I didn't realize there would be a second explosion, the glass exploded in front of me."
The explosion, described by many as intense as an earthquake, could even be heard and felt as far away as Cyprus.
While no group has claimed responsibility for the blast and Israel has denied involvement, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab swiftly demanded accountability for what he called a catastrophe:
LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER, HASSAN DIAB, SAYING: "Those responsible will pay the price for what happened, this is a promise to the martyrs and to the wounded, this is a national commitment. The facts will be revealed about this dangerous warehouse that has been there since 2014."
Lebanon's interior minister said initial information indicated highly explosive material, seized years ago, that had been stored at the port had blown up. The minister told an Arabic TV station ammonium nitrate had been in storage there since 2014.
Reuters video journalists captured scenes from the aftermath; residents scrambling to drive the injured to nearby hospitals, already overwhelmed with victims.
It was not immediately clear what caused the initial blaze on Tuesday that set off the blast.
The site of the blast could still be seen burning and smoldering as night fell... with the death toll expected to rise.