The Jakarta Post
The Foreign Ministry says an Indonesian was injured in an explosion that hit the main port of Beirut.
In a statement published Wednesday, the ministry said the Indonesian Embassy in Lebanon had contacted the victim, who was in stable condition.
“The embassy will accompany [the injured] until they recover,” the statement published on the ministry’s website said.
In a separate statement, Indonesian Ambassador to Lebanon Hajriyanto Y. Thohari said all 1,447 Indonesian citizens in the capital city had been accounted for, comprising 1,234 United Nations peacekeepers under the Garuda Contingent and 213 civilians, and that they were all safe.
He added that one Indonesian in quarantine at Rafiq Hariri Hospital, located 6 kilometers from the port, was also confirmed to be safe.
The ambassador reported that the blast occurred Tuesday at 6:02 p.m. local time at the Port of Beirut –near the downtown Beirut area and around 7 km from the Indonesian Embassy-- and caused property damage within several kilometers of the blast.
“So far, there has been no official statement about the cause of the explosion. Initial sources said the explosion occurred in one of the large hangars that stored explosive materials at the port,” the ambassador wrote in Wednesday’s statement.
However, AFP reported that Prime Minister Hassan Diab said 2,750 tons of the agricultural fertilizer ammonium nitrate that had been stored for years in a portside warehouse had blown up, sparking "a disaster in every sense of the word".
“The Indonesian Embassy has conveyed the appeal through WhatsApp groups and through the Indonesian nodes [...] to report immediately if [any Indonesians] are in an unsafe situation,” the statement wrote, adding that the embassy had communicated with the police to report updates regarding Indonesian citizens.
AFP reported that at least 78 people were killed by the blast, with thousands more injured. Videos of the explosion and its impact began circulating on social media late on Tuesday.