After speaking with US military officials, US President Donald Trump declared the explosion like an atomic bomb rocking the capital Beirut was likely “a terrible attack”.
The Independent on 5 August quoted Trump as saying at the White House: “First of all, let me send the deepest American condolences to the people of Lebanon. It seems like a bad attack”.
When asked by the journalist on the basis of the statement, the US president said US military generals told him the concussion was the result of an attack.
“I met some high-ranking generals in the army and they said it was not a normal labor accident. According to them, it seemed to be an attack. What caused the explosion was some kind of bomb”, Mr. Trump added.
Contrary to the statement of the US President, Abbas Ibrahim, head of the Lebanese General Security Department, said an incident at the chemical warehouse caused the explosion and identified it as an accident.
After the incident, the Israeli army and Hezbollah rebels were denied involvement, while Lebanese officials also rejected the hypothesis of an Israeli missile attack.
The horrific explosion in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on August 4 left at least 78 people dead and over 4,000 injured, causing massive damage.
Videos appearing on social media show fireballs and dense black smoke rising from a row of buildings before a mushroom cloud (commonly seen in atomic bomb explosions) covered the area.
The US Geological Survey said the explosion in Beirut was equivalent to a 3.3 magnitude earthquake. According to initial estimates, the explosion created the equivalent of a fifth of the US atomic bomb dropped on the city of Hiroshima in Japan during World War 2.
Liban Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared “the culprits would have to pay” and an investigation of the “danger” in the warehouse was also conducted.
More than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate – the compound used to make explosives – have been stored improperly in the warehouse since 2014, according to Libyan President Michel Aoun. Mr Michel said this was an “unacceptable” and vowed to punish those responsible for the most severe punishment.
Lebanese officials call for international aid to repair the “big wound” caused by the explosion.