BEIRUT (AP, CNN, Tekeyan School, Zartonk) — Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, August 4, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the capital. Witnesses saw many people injured by flying glass and debris. According to the Lebanese health minister, at least 100 were killed and over 4,000 injured, in figures that are being constantly increased. Some 300,000 people were displaced from their homes.
The Tekeyan School and Tekeyan Center were damaged as well as Armenian institutions such as the Prelacy in Bourj Hammoud, and the Armenian General Benevolent Union Demirjian Center and others in Antelias.
An Associated Press photographer near the port saw people lying injured on the ground, and hospitals called for blood donations, but exact casualties were not immediately known.
Among the Armenians killed is Nazar Najarian, secretary general of the Christian Democratic Kataeb Party or Phalange.
Miles from the scene of the blast, balconies were knocked down, ceiling collapsed and windows were shattered.
The cause of the blast was not immediately clear. Lebanese officials said it appeared that over 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate in storage since 2014 in a port warehouse had detonated. It came at a time when Lebanon is passing through its worst economic and financial crisis in decades.