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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Four dead in Beirut fuel tank fire and blast

Firefighters extinguish a fire after a fuel tank exploded in Beirut's Tariq al-Jdide neighbourhood [AFP]

Date of publication: 9 October, 2020

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Four people were killed in an explosion and tank fire in Lebanon's capital Beirut.

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Lebanon

An explosion and a fuel tank fire in the Lebanese capital Friday killed four people, rescuers said as panic spread in a city already ravaged by a monster blast in August.

The fire and blast struck the bustling district of Tariq al-Jdide, Lieutenant Ali Najm of the fire brigade told AFP.

"The number of victims increased to four," the Lebanese Red Cross said on its Twitter account, updating the toll from two dead.

Lebanese television Al-Jadeed said more than 20 people were taken to hospital as it showed flames in a street as well as sounds of people screaming in panic.

The state-run National News Agency said a fuel tank exploded, sparking a fire and causing casualties.

The immediate cause of the fire was not known.

Several fires have broken out at Beirut's port since a cataclysmic August 4 explosion killed 203 people, injured at least 6,500 others and ravaged swathes of the capital.

That blast came as Lebanon struggles with its worst financial crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war and political strife, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lieutenant Najm said a warehouse with an oil tank caught fire and there was an explosion. The owner of a shop that also sold petrol was arrested, a security souce said.

The owner manages one of the many private generator services that supply residents with electricity when frequent power outages occur, the source said.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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