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Australian among at least 78 people killed in massive Beirut explosion

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A massive explosion in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, has killed at least 78 people and injured more than 4000.

It’s understood highly explosive material had been stored in the city’s port area, where the explosion occurred at about 6pm local time.

There are reports up to 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which was stored in a warehouse, exploded.

Beirut local Jihad El Hokayem says hospitals are struggling to cope.

“The hospitals are full in Beirut,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“The scale and magnitude of this explosion, we’ve never seen like this.

“The smell is really unbearable … You’d think there was a war for two or three months.”

Press PLAY below for Jihad El Hokayem’s account of the devastation in Beirut.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Today an Australian has been killed in the blast.

“It is my deep regret to inform you one Australian has been killed in this horrific blast,” he said.

“Our hearts go out to all those in Lebanon.”

The Australian embassy was “significantly impacted” by the blast but no staff were injured.

Image: Anadolu Agency / Getty

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