Witnesses described an apocalyptic scene in the Middle Eastern city following the explosion, which killed at least 70 people and injured more than 3,700. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said 2,750 tons ammonium nitrate, a chemical primarily used as an agricultural fertilizer, had exploded in a warehouse. Diab said the storage of the chemicals had been left unsecured and unattended for six years.
President Trump on Tuesday described a deadly explosion in Beirut as a “terrible attack” before authorities publicly attributed a cause to the calamity. The president made the remark during his last White House press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.Asked by a reporter how he came to this conclusion, he said: “It would appear to be based on the explosion. … I met some of our great generals and they seemed to feel like it was [an attack]. “It seems to be, according to them, that they seemed to think it was an attack, that it was some bomb,” he said. The Commander-in-Chief offered “America’s most sincere sympathies to the Lebanese people.”