Massive warehouse explosion rocks Beirut, causing thousands of injuries and widespread damage

BEIRUT — A “colossal” explosion that rocked the port area of Lebanon’s capital Tuesday, killing dozens of people and injuring thousands more, happened at a warehouse where tons of ammonium nitrate were being stored, the prime minister said.

“I will not rest until we find the person responsible for what happened, to hold him accountable and impose the most severe penalties,” Prime Minister Hassan Diab said.

Diab said it was “unacceptable” that a shipment of ammonium nitrate estimated at 2,750 tons had been in warehouse for six years without “preventive measures” to protect it. The chemical compound, which is commercially available, is used widely in fertilizers and explosives.