Beirut explosion shatters windows across Lebanese capital

By Tamara Qiblawi and Ben Wedeman, CNN

    (CNN) -- A large explosion ripped through the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, injuring people and smashing windows in buildings across the city.

The source of the explosion was a major fire at a warehouse for firecrackers near the port in Beirut, the state-run National News Agency reported. Local news reported large numbers of wounded people.

Many buildings were damaged by the explosion, including the headquarters of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and CNN's bureau in the city. A red cloud hung over Beirut in the wake of the blast as firefighting teams rushed to the scene to try to put out the fire.

Homes as far as 10 kilometers away were damaged, according to witnesses, and local media video showed cars destroyed and flipped over.

One Beirut resident who was several kilometers away from the site of the blast said her windows had been shattered by the explosion. "What I felt was that it was an earthquake," Rania Masri told CNN.

"The apartment shook horizontally and all of a sudden it felt like an explosion and the windows and doors burst open. The glass just broke. So many homes were damaged or destroyed."

This is a breaking story, more to follow.

The-CNN-Wire
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