Beirut's day of destruction: Explosion lays waste to Lebanese capital

Bloodied, dazed and weeping residents wandered through Beirut into the night, surveying the devastation around them. Fifteen years of civil war had numbed them to blast damage, but even they had seen nothing like this.

The explosion that destroyed the city's port yesterday also laid waste to homes, shopping centres, hotels and businesses throughout surrounding suburbs.

At the city's airport, part of the roof collapsed. That was six miles away.

Beirut's governor, Marwan Abboud, broke into tears as he toured the blast site. 'Beirut is a devastated city,' he said.

Marwan Ramadan was 500 yards away from the port but was still blown off his feet by the blast. 'It was a real horror show,' he said. 'I haven't seen anything like that since the days of the war.'

People on the street in Beirue which is strewn with debris from damaged buildings following the explosion

People on the street in Beirue which is strewn with debris from damaged buildings following the explosion

A man reacts at the scene of an explosion at the port in Lebanon's capital Beirut on August 4

A man reacts at the scene of an explosion at the port in Lebanon's capital Beirut on August 4

A huge explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky

A huge explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky

Entire buildings were razed to rubble in Beirut yesterday after a chemical explosion punched through the city and wreaked devastation for miles

Entire buildings were razed to rubble in Beirut yesterday after a chemical explosion punched through the city and wreaked devastation for miles 

A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut today. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city

A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut today. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city

Sombering scenes showed citizens in despair as their homes were damaged, with walls blown through and windows shattered

Sombering scenes showed citizens in despair as their homes were damaged, with walls blown through and windows shattered

A view of damages at a house in Burj Abu Haidar area in Beirut

Paola Rebeiz  was watching television when a blast in central Beirut hit her home in St Nicolas, around a kilometre south of the site of the explosion, shattering all of her windows

The blast inflicted severe damage to people's homes. Paola Rebeiz was watching television when a blast in central Beirut hit her home in St Nicolas, around a kilometre south of the site of the explosion, shattering all of her windows (right)

A view shows the damages entrance of a store in Burj Abu Haidar area in Beirut

A view shows the damages entrance of a store in Burj Abu Haidar area in Beirut

Glass is shattered by the explosion at the Cavalier Hotel in Beirut following the explosion

Glass is shattered by the explosion at the Cavalier Hotel in Beirut following the explosion 

A mobile phone image showing a general view of the harbor area with smoke billowing from an area of a large exoplosion, with damage and debris after a large explosion rocked the harbor area of Beirut

A mobile phone image showing a general view of the harbor area with smoke billowing from an area of a large exoplosion, with damage and debris after a large explosion rocked the harbor area of Beirut

It lay waste to the immediate surrounding buildings, where firefighters were still battling flames this evening, and even wreaked havoc on districts miles away from the blast site

It lay waste to the immediate surrounding buildings, where firefighters were still battling flames this evening, and even wreaked havoc on districts miles away from the blast site

Fires burning at the port on Beirut well into the night following an explosion, believed to be from chemicals

Fires burning at the port on Beirut well into the night following an explosion, believed to be from chemicals 

Smoke billows at the site of the large explosion and buildings are reduced to twisted wreckages

Smoke billows at the site of the large explosion and buildings are reduced to twisted wreckages 

The blast ripped through buildings and blew bricks out of walls and brought them crashing down on to the street.

The blast ripped through buildings and blew bricks out of walls and brought them crashing down on to the street. 

Dramatic footage shows smoke billowing from the port area shortly before an enormous fireball explodes into the sky and blankets the city in a thick mushroom cloud

Dramatic footage on social media shows people screaming as an enormous blast rocks the waterside area of Lebanon's capital city

Dramatic footage shows smoke billowing from the port area shortly before an enormous fireball explodes into the sky and blankets the city in a thick mushroom cloud

People ride past a car destroyed after a building wall collapsed because of the blast which wreaked havoc for miles

People ride past a car destroyed after a building wall collapsed because of the blast which wreaked havoc for miles

Images showed port buildings reduced to tangled masonry, devastating the main entry point to a country that relies on food imports to feed its population of more than six million

 Images showed port buildings reduced to tangled masonry, devastating the main entry point to a country that relies on food imports to feed its population of more than six million

The explosion laid waste to sections of the city as Lebanon grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades

The explosion laid waste to sections of the city as Lebanon grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades

Firefighters douse a blaze at the scene of an explosion at the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut

Firefighters douse a blaze at the scene of an explosion at the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut

The lobby of a building overlooking the Lebanese capital Beirut's central Martyrs' Square, with rubble and debris from covering the street following massive explosions earlier at the nearby port of Beirut

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The lobby of a building overlooking the Lebanese capital Beirut's central Martyrs' Square, with rubble and debris from covering the street following massive explosions earlier at the nearby port of Beirut

Outside one hospital, Omar Kinno sat on the pavement, holding back tears. Kinno, a Syrian, said one of his sisters was killed when

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