"It was a bomb": Trump calls deadly explosions in Beirut a "terrible attack" and says the US is ready to help Lebanon after at least 78 people have been killed and more than 4,000 injured
President Donald Trump described fatal explosions as a "terrible attack" during a press conference on Tuesday, although there is currently no evidence that the explosions were intentional.
A series of massive explosions in the Lebanese capital's port area shook the city on Tuesday evening local time, killing at least 78 people and injuring more than 4,000 others.
"The United States is ready to help Lebanon," Trump said of the devastating scenes at a White House briefing. "We will be there to help. It looks like a terrible attack. "
When asked by a reporter whether Trump was certain that the explosion was in fact an attack, Trump confirmed this and insisted that he had met with some of our great generals, and they seem to feel that way that this was the case.
"You would know better than I would," the President continued. "You seem to be thinking … it was kind of a bomb, yes."
President Donald Trump described fatal explosions as a "terrible attack" during a press conference on Tuesday, although there was no evidence that the explosions were intentional
A series of massive explosions in the Lebanese capital's port area shook the city on Tuesday evening local time, killing at least 78 people and injuring more than 4,000 others
So far, no evidence has been presented to the public that the explosions were the result of an attack.
Several videos of the explosion show fire and thick clouds of smoke emanating from a building in the city's port area before a mushroom cloud breaks out and sends a shock wave through the city.
Hundreds of buildings were leveled in the terrible explosion. The death toll is expected to increase significantly as emergency personnel continue to extract bodies buried under the rubble.
"Our prayers go to all victims and their families," said Trump. "The United States is ready to help Lebanon."
The Lebanese government says it is still investigating the source of the explosion, but early signs indicate that the explosion occurred when a warehouse with explosive materials was set on fire.
A large supply of ammonium nitrate was stored where the explosions took place, said Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi. He requested an investigation into how the material was ignited.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab called the explosion a "catastrophe" and vowed that those responsible would "pay for what happened".
Diab said an investigation into the conditions in the "dangerous warehouse" where the explosion took place is underway.
"I promise you that this disaster will not go without accountability," he added during a television speech.
In a later tweet, Diab said it was "unacceptable that a delivery of ammonium nitrate, estimated at 2,750 tons, has been in a warehouse for six years without taking preventive measures that endanger the safety of citizens."