Priest Flees for His Life as Beirut Explosion Rocks Church During Live-Stream | 22 Words

Following the shocking explosion in Lebanon's capital city yesterday, harrowing footage has emerged that shows a priest fleeing for his life as his church collapses in around him...

Yesterday, a massive explosion rocked the city of Beirut.

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At around 6 pm local time on August 4th, a sudden and devastating explosion ripped through Lebanon's capital city.

The footage from the blast is truly horrifying.

Filmed by a witness standing around 10km away from the blast, the mushroom-cloud explosion could be seen rocking nearby buildings, shattering windows, and demolishing everything in its path.

Throughout the day, different videos of the explosion began to emerge...

And, as they did, the realization of the severity of the situation began to slowly sink in.

Hundreds of thousands of buildings were wiped out in the blast...

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Leaving nearly 300,000 people homeless.

Initially, it was unclear as to how many people were injured.

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But today, Lebanon’s health minister has said that at least seventy-eight people have died, and a further 4,000 people have suffered injuries.

Those who ware injured were hastily whisked to hospitals across the city...

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But these hospitals were so overwhelmed that they were forced to turn wounded people away, including the American University Hospital. Patients were then transported to hospitals outside of Beirut because those in the city were at maximum capacity.

A search and rescue operation for those who are still missing is currently underway...

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But, sadly, the death toll is expected to rise drastically within the next couple of days.

Yet, as the search for survivors amongst the rubble continues...

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Many of us are wondering the same thing.

How did this happen?

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How did such a devastating explosion occur right in the heart of the city, with next to no warning for its millions of residents?

At first, an explanation for the blast was nowhere to be seen.

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But today, it has emerged that a huge cache of ammonium nitrate, an explosive compound commonly used in the construction of bombs, had been stored at the building in which the blast had occurred.

The explosive material had been seized by the government 6 years ago...

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And was then placed at the explosion site, according to top Lebanese officials.

An accidental fire was sparked at the warehouse...

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And it was this fire that is believed to have triggered the explosion of the ammunition.

Officials have stated that they are working hard at finding the party responsible for the devastating explosion.

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In a televised statement, Prime Minister Diab was quoted as saying: "I will not relax until we find the responsible party for what happened, hold it accountable and apply the most serious punishments against it because it isn’t acceptable that a shipment of ammonium nitrate - estimated to be 2,750 tons - was in a depot for the past 6 years without precautionary measures being taken."

But, for now, footage from the aftermath of the event continues to emerge online.

People can be seen wandering around, dazed and disoriented, amongst the crumbling builds and smoking rubble.

It is utterly heartwrenching to see...

A once vibrant and bustling metropolis now lays in smoke and tatters.

However, amongst the many devastating videos emerging, there has been one that stands out amongst the rest.

via: Twitter

A priest carrying out a service was filmed fleeing for his life as the explosion caused his church, which is believed to have been located close to the explosion site, to collapse around him. And now, the footage has gone viral online.

As the priest speaks, the lights suddenly go out...

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And the camera begins to tremble.

As the shaking intensifies, debris from the roof begins to fall...

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And the priest suddenly springs to action.

He can be seen leaping out of the way as huge chunks of the roof fall through...

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And he collapses out of shot as the camera is knocked to the floor from the blast.

The priest's fate is currently unknown...

But a woman on Twitter claiming to know him has insisted that he is "alive and well." You can watch the remarkable footage above.

This is a developing story, and we will post updates accordingly.

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Our thoughts go out to the people of Beirut during this devastating time.