Beirut ‘explosion’ as smoke rises over city and shockwave shakes houses

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A gas tank explosion has reportedly rocked the city of Beirut, Lebanon, with locals claiming to have felt "shockwaves" in their own homes.

Military and emergency services are on scene of a suspected explosion site in the Tawik Jdide area of Beirut, Lebanon, local media reports.

A gas tank is reported to have exploded near a bakery just after 8.30pm local time.

Authorities have not confirmed whether or not there have been any casualties, but the area is said to be residential.

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 emerged on social media, alongside reports of "shockwaves" and rubble and glass strewn on the street.

Images also show brave locals aiding early efforts to put out flames on the street as people look on at a blaze.

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Other snaps show debris flung in different directions, with a large group of people fleeing from the scene to safety.

It is unclear what triggered the explosion, but reports have confirmed the street to be a busy area of the middle eastern city.

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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?"

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It comes just over two months after the people of Beirut experienced what has been called "the worst non-nuclear explosion in modern history."

A blast at Beirut's port rocked the capital and left over 200 people dead and 2,700 injured.

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