Beirut: A diesel tank exploded inside a Beirut building, killing four people and injuring several others, the Lebanese Red Cross has said.
It was not immediately clear what triggered the blast in the western neighbourhood of Tariq Jadidah. The state-run National News Agency said the blaze erupted inside a bakery in the basement of the building on Friday night.
Firefighters quickly put out the blaze and later helped building residents stuck in their apartments by the fire to climb down ladders. Lebanese troops also deployed to the area and pushed back onlookers.
The explosion came two months after a massive blast at Beirut’s port killed nearly 200 people, injured about 6,500 and caused damage worth billions of dollars. Nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical used in fertilisers, exploded at Beirut’s port on August 4. The material had been stored at the facility for six years.
It is still not known what ignited the nitrate but more than two dozen people, many of them port and customs officials have been detained since.
In other parts of Lebanon, wildfires erupted in forests amid a heatwave hitting the Mediterranean country. Some of the fires broke out in villages along the border with Israel.
The state-run news agency said a mine exploded in the Wazzani area because of the fire. There were no casualties.
In neighbouring Syria, wildfires have killed two people and caused breathing problems for about 20 others in the coastal province of Latakia, the health ministry said.