Dozens killed in Lebanon fuel tank explosion

A fuel tank explosion in Lebanon killed at least 28 people and wounded 79 early on Sunday (August 15), according to the country’s health ministry.

It happened in the northern Akkar region -- one of Lebanon's poorest areas.

Patients with burn wounds, some covered in gauze, flooded into the Al-salam hospital in nearby Tripoli.

Sources said the army had seized a fuel storage tank hidden by black marketeers and was handing out gasoline to residents when the explosion happened.

This man said hundreds of people were gathered nearby at the time of the explosion.

Eyewitnesses said army and security forces personnel were among the casualties.

Lebanon is suffering from a severe fuel shortage, which has led to long lines at gas stations and extended blackouts.

Angry residents in Akkar gathered at the site and set fire to two dump trucks, according to a Reuters witness.

One local resident, Mohamed, compared the incident to last year's Beirut port blast.

“This is the second Beritu explosion he said, what happened was not small, people have been incinerated and some are still missing.

Accounts varied as to what caused the explosion.

Local Al-Jadeed TV channel reported from eyewitnesses that it was caused by a person who ignited a lighter.

The Red Cross said its teams were still searching the explosion site.

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