Beirut explosion – Terrifying moment BBC journalist sent flying live on air by massive blast as her office collapses

THE horrifying moment a massive blast ripped through Beirut yesterday was captured in a live BBC broadcast as the journalist was sent flying.

A colossal explosion a fifth the size of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb killed at least 100 people in the Lebanese capital.

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The disaster was sparked when a welder ignited 2,700 tons of explosive chemicals in the port area, it’s reported.

BBC News Arabic journalist Maryam Toumi was in the middle of a video interview when the devastating blast rocked the city.

An ominous rumbling sound can be heard as she stands up looking terrified.

The camera is then knocked to the floor as the massive explosion hits and her interviewees watch in horror.


Ms Toumi can be heard screaming as broken glass scatters across the floor and an alarm starts sounding.

After a tense few moments the reporter turns the camera around and picks herself up off the floor, seemingly unharmed.

Thousands were injured in the disaster, with the death toll expected to skyrocket.

Shocking pictures show flattened buildings, walking wounded, and a sea of rubble in the wake of the catastrophe which could be heard 110 miles away in Cyprus.

Toxic gases were been reported in the aftermath along with strange orange clouds, with the US Embassy warning any Americans in Beirut to stay inside.

The source of the blast is believed to be 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate which had been stored in a warehouse without safety measures since 2014.

Ammonium nitrate is mainly used as a fertiliser, but has also been linked to terror attacks after being used in homemade bombs.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has declared a state of emergency for Beirut for two weeks – and vowed the "harshest punishments" for those responsible.

Nearby structures were flattened, windows and doors were blown out, cars were thrown and crushed, and fires burned as the sun set over Beirut.


Horrifying video of the explosion shows an enormous mushroom cloud over the city followed by a shockwave.

Toxic gases were also reported in the aftermath along with strange orange clouds, with the US Embassy warning any Americans in Beirut to stay inside.

Many people are feared to still be trapped under the rubble and inside their damaged homes.

Beirut mayor Marwan Abboud broke down in tears on live TV as he compared the blast to those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the first ever nuclear bombs were dropped, killing thousands.

He said: “I’ve never seen such a big destruction. This is a national calamity, this is a disaster for Lebanon.”

Breaking down, he added: “We need to remain strong, we need to hold on and be brave … but this is too much…”

He added that a team of 10 hero firefighters who raced to the initial blast had disappeared after the second massive explosion.

Lebanese PM Hassan Diab described the disaster as a "national catastrophe" and added "those responsible will pay the price".

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