Explosion in Beirut rocks entire city, at least 50 killed

At 6 p.m. local time, a blast shook the Lebanese city, ripping off the front of buildings as cars, shops and apartments were shattered. Hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties.
2:05 | 08/05/20

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Transcript for Explosion in Beirut rocks entire city, at least 50 killed
There are awful images coming in from Beirut tonight, after a massive and deadly explosion. Buildings destroyed. At least 60 dead, more than 3,000 injured. And those numbers are expected to rise right into the night. And just before we came on this evening, president trump said this looked like a terrible attack, in his words, but what authorities in Beirut are now saying about early clues of a cause. Here's our senior foreign correspondent Ian Pannell tonight. Reporter: This was the moment an entire city shook to its core as a massive explosion erupted in Beirut port. The blast occurring around 6:00 P.M. Local time. Eyewitness video showing a fire and a series of smaller detonations. Unconfirmed reports suggesting perhaps fireworks, but what happened next was far bigger, a devastating explosion sending a mushroom cloud across the city. The fronts of buildings ripped off. Cars, shops, apartments shattered. The streets showered with debris for miles around as bloodied and shell-shocked citizens stagger through blackened streets. Hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties. The Lebanese health minister saying scores are dead and thousands injured. The health care system already overwhelmed by rising covid infections and an economy in freefall. Tonight, the questions begin about what caused the blast and who is responsible. Just unbelievable pictures tonight. Ian with us from London, tracking this. And Ian, president trump just said, quote, it looks like a terrible attack. We know that other U.S. Officials have called this a horrible tragedy. So, what do officials in Beirut say right now was behind this blast? Reporter: Yeah, well, David, firstly, they're not suggesting that it was an attack. It's now pointing towards being just a tragic, terrible accident. The country's interior minister saying that highly explosive material may have been stored on the site, even pointing towards ammonium nitrate, which is highly combustible, often used in bombs and in sufficient quantities, capable of causing this level of massive destruction. David? Ian, thank you. And back here at home this

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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