Rescue teams were still searching the rubble of Beirut’s port for bodies on Friday, nearly three days after a massive explosion that ripped through Lebanon’s capital, killing about 150 people and wounding thousands.
At least four more bodies were recovered in the last 24 hours, and authorities say the death toll has risen to 149. At least four Bangladeshis were killed in the blast and 21 members of Bangladesh Navy were injured.
The blast destroyed a large grain silo and neighbourhoods near the port and left several city blocks littered with glass and rubble, reports AP.
The blast was apparently caused by the ignition of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used for explosives and fertiliser that had been stored at the port since it was confiscated from an impounded cargo ship in 2013.
Also read: 100 killed, 4,000 injured in Beirut blast
The government has opened an investigation as it has come under mounting criticism, with many Lebanese blaming the catastrophe on negligence and corruption.
Damaged hospitals, already strained by the coronavirus pandemic, are struggling to deal with the wounded.
Also read: Beirut blast: Devastation in pictures
The investigation is focusing on port and customs officials, with 16 employees detained and others questioned.
A soldier displays a photo of a child, which was found in a damaged building after explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, on Aug 5, 2020. (Xinhua)
Photo taken on Aug 6 shows a view of the Port of Beirut after explosions in Beirut, Lebanon. (Xinhua)
The sister of Nicole al-Helou, who was killed by the explosion Tuesday that hit the seaport of Beirut, mourns on her coffin during her funeral, in Sarba village, southern Lebanon, Aug 6. (AP)
Lebanese soldiers search for survivors after a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)
A Lebanese woman, whose son is missing after the explosion Tuesday that hit the seaport of Beirut, cries as she waits outside the port to receive any information from the rescue teams on Thursday, Aug 6. (AP)
A soldier walks at the devastated site of the explosion in the port of Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday Aug 6. (AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron, center, visits the devastated site of the explosion at the port of Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday Aug 6. (AP)
A woman stands inside a damaged restaurant a day after an explosion hit the seaport of Beirut. (AP)
People mourn for a victim of explosions in a hospital in Beirut, Lebanon, on Aug 6. (Xinhua)
Security personnel sit in front of damaged buildings near the site of an explosion on Tuesday that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug 6. (AP)
A man cleans a damaged mosque a day after an explosion hit the seaport of Beirut. (AP)
Riot police advance to push back anti-government protesters, during a protest against the political elites who have ruled the country for decades, in Beirut, Aug 7. (AP)
Anti-government protesters throw stones and clash with the riot police, during a protest against the political elites who have ruled the country for decades, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Aug 6. (AP)