A gas tank explosion has rocked the city of Beirut, Lebanon, with four people confirmed dead and dozens injured, local media have said.
Military and emergency services raced to the Tawik Jdide area of Beirut, Lebanon, following reports of an explosion on Friday evening.
An-Nahar, a Lebanese news outlet, has said four people have been confirmed dead in the blast with “dozens injured” as “recovery continues.”
Earlier in the evening, the Secretary-General of the Lebanese Red Cross, George Kittana, said a number of people have been transferred to Al-Maqasid Hospital and authorities are still aiding recovery efforts alongside the Lebanese Red Cross.
In a call with the National News Agency, Mr Kittana said: “A number of wounded were transferred to Al-Maqasid Hospital as a result of the explosion of the diesel tank that caught fire this evening.”
Eye-witnesses have said volunteers are at present searching through rubble and debris in case anyone is trapped in their house or place of work, Daily Beirut reports.
A Jaras Scoop FM reporter said the Civil Defence has evacuated a large number of residents from neighbouring buildings after the structure showed cracks.
He said: “Wounded by the Beirut explosion, the civil defence evacuates the residents from the neighbouring buildings, after cracking.”
Chilling footage posted to Twitter shows firefighters tackling a large blaze as people scream and shout behind them.
Images also show brave locals aiding firefighters to put out flames on the street as people look on at a blaze.
Residents in the Tarik Jdide area have reported hearing loud screams followed by an explosion and buildings shaking.
Pictures of smoke rising over the city have also emerged alongside reports of “shockwaves” and rubble and glass strewn on the street.
Other snaps show debris flung in different directions, with a large group of people fleeing from the scene to safety.
Early reports plunged the city into confusion, with mixed reports of an earthquake or an explosion.
One user said: “Anyone else felt a shake/explosion in Beirut 1 minute ago? The house I’m in shook for a couple of seconds.”
A second said: “Anyone around Beirut heard something now? What was it? An explosion? Earthquake?”