Amid widespread speculation and multiple theories over what could have produced late afternoon blast of such magnitude, both Hezbollah and Israel have formally denied that it was the result of a missile or military attack.
Russian media reports have cited Israeli broadcasters to say:
Israel has nothing to do with the massive explosion that rocked Beirut on 4 August, the country’s parliamentary TV channel has announced.
Lebanese state sources have pointed to a large fireworks depot going up in flames, then detonating. However, there remain competing claims and speculation.
Local authorities have yet to assess and produce a death toll, which is tragically expected to be high.
Iconic parts of the city appear to be devastated.