Harrowing new slow-motion video captures Beirut blast that killed 158 and blew 140ft DEEP crater


    FURIOUS protesters in Lebanon have demanded the nation’s government resign – as a harrowing slow-motion video captured the blast that killed 158 and blew a 140ft deep crater.

    Demonstrators hurled rocks at security forces blocking a road near parliament today following last week’s devastating explosion in Beirut.

    The huge chemical explosion that hit Beirut’s port, devastating large parts of the Lebanese capital and claiming over 150 lives, left a 43-metre deep crater

    The explosion in the port left a crater 140 feet deep

    A protester turns back tear gas canister against the Lebanese riot police

     Lebanese anti-government protesters clash with security forces

    Police officers are seen during a protest following Tuesday’s blast, in Beirut

    Rage spiked after Tuesday’s port explosion killed 158 people, injured 6,000 and left 300,000 homeless.

    “The explosion in the port left a crater 43 meters (140 feet) deep,” a Lebanese security official said, citing assessments by French experts working in the disaster area.

    Fire broke out at the entrance to Parliament Square as protesters today tried to break into a cordoned-off area, Lebanese TV footage showed.

    Riot police wearing body armour and carrying batons clashed with demonstrators in chaotic scenes.

    Thousands of demonstrators were converging on Parliament Square and nearby Martyrs’ Square.

    “We want to destroy and kill the government,” said Nissan Ghrawi, a 19-year-old unemployed demonstrator. “They gave us no jobs or rights.”

    One message circulating on social media by angry protesters said: “Prepare the gallows because our anger doesn’t end in one day.”

    The country’s top Christian Maronite cleric, Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai, said the cabinet should resign as it cannot “change the way it governs”.

    He said in his Sunday sermon: “The resignation of an MP or a minister is not enough…the whole government should resign as it is unable to help the country recover.”

    Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad said she was resigning today, citing the explosion and the failure of the government to carry out reforms.

    Police officers stand guard against the demonstrators

    Demonstrators run from tear gas fired by police near the parliament building 

    It came after anger boiled over into violent scenes in central Beirut yesterday.

    Those protests were the biggest since October when thousands of people took to the streets to demand an end to corruption, bad governance and mismanagement.

    About 10,000 people gathered at Martyrs’ Square, which was transformed into a battle zone in the evening between police and protesters who tried to break down a barrier along a road leading to parliament.

    Some demonstrators stormed government ministries and the Association of Lebanese Banks.

    One policeman was killed and the Red Cross said more than 170 people were injured in clashes.

    The prime minister and presidency have said 2,750 tonnes of highly explosive ammonium nitrate, which is used in making fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years without safety measures at the port warehouse.

    The government has said it will hold those responsible to account.

    Some 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded on Tuesday, hitting a city already reeling from the economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

    World leaders today pledged emergency relief to help Lebanon.

    Molotov cocktails were hurled at Lebanese soldiers by anti-government protesters

    A truck was set on fire as people protested over Tuesday’s horrific blast

    A demonstrator waves the Lebanese flag in front of riot police during the protests

    A protester runs from security forces as a building burns behind him

    Police fired tear gas to try to disperse the demonstrators

    A Lebanese protester speaks to soldiers at the headquarters of the Lebanese association of banks

    A demonstrator holds a Lebanese flag as another hurls stones

    Protesters hang a portrait of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on the gallows

    Riot police gather during the violent disturbances

    Thousands gathered in Martyrs’ Square in protest at the government’s handling of the killer chemicals blast

    Riot cops called for calm as anger spilled over onto the streets of Lebanon’s capital

    The explosion in the city’s port left at at least 154 dead and thousands injured

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    The explosion was heard 110 miles away in Cyprus