Dozens of people are dead and hundreds more injured following massive explosions that rocked Beirut on Tuesday, causing widespread destruction in Lebanon's capital city.
The Lebanese health minister said at least 50 people were killed and 2,700 more were injured, according to The Associated Press.
Multiple videos on social media showed a blast following an initial plume of smoke rising over the city.
The Lebanese government did not immediately identify the source of the explosions in the city's port area.
The area is believed to have warehouses storing explosives, Reuters reported, citing two security sources and Lebanon’s state news agency NNA. Reuters further reported that a third security source said chemicals were stored in the area.
Lebanon’s Red Cross called for blood donations, saying it was receiving thousands of calls.
The Lebanese Ministry of Public Health also tweeted that the health minister had instructed all hospitals to take in the wounded at the government agency's expense.
In the U.S., White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the Trump administration was tracking the explosions closely, but didn’t have any additional information.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also tweeted condolences to the families of the victims of the explosion and offered to provide assistance at Lebanon’s request.
And Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted support for the Lebanese people and offered assistance “in any way necessary.”
The human toll and the widespread destruction come amid an economic crisis in Lebanon and rising tensions with Israel. Iranian-backed Hezbollah controls territory along Lebanon's southern border with Israel.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, speaking with Israeli N12 television news, denied that Israel had anything to do with the explosions, Reuters noted.
The blasts occurred sometime early evening in Beirut, and live video from Reuters showed fires burning at the scene and nonstop ambulance sirens.
A video posted by Beirut Today, described as an “independent, community-based news platform in Lebanon,” showed an explosion near the port.
An additional video posted by Borzou Daragahi, a foreign correspondent for the Independent, appears to show a large plume of white smoke with flashes of light — initially believed to be fireworks — at the port of Beirut, near a large, multistory building. A massive explosion then takes place, engulfing the building.