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Department of Foreign Affairs fielding 'a number of calls' from Irish citizens following Beirut blast

Irish peacekeeping troops are also stationed in Lebanon but have all been accounted for and are ‘safe’.

Image: AP/PA Images

THE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs has fielded a number of calls from Irish citizens in Beirut following a large explosion which killed more than 100 people and injured thousands more. 

The blast at a warehouse alongside the Port of Beirut in the Lebanese capital was felt hundreds of kilometres away from the port, and registered as the equivalent of a 3.3 magnitude earthquake. 

Lebanese authorities suggested the cause of the explosion was 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, an agricultural fertiliser, that had been stored for years in a portside warehouse.

A number of NGOs have Irish teams working in Lebanon on humanitarian missions. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs today confirmed that it has been contacted on a number of occasions for advice but it has not received reports of any Irish men or women injured in the blast. 

“The Embassy of Ireland in Cairo has been monitoring the situation in Beirut since yesterday,” a spokesperson said.

“We have received a number of calls with no reports of serious injuries to Irish citizens.

It said that Irish citizens in the region can contact the Department of Foreign Affairs on 01 408 2527 if they require advice or assistance.

lebanon-explosion An army helicopter drops water at the scene of the explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon. Source: Hussein Malla

Irish peacekeeping troops are also working in the region but understands the troops are located a significant distance from the city. 

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A spokesperson confirmed that “all our personnel are accounted for and are safe”. 

Ireland is one of 45 countries involved with the United Nations’ UNIFIL operation which works to provide humanitarian support and maintain peace. 

A statement from UNIFIL following the blast said: “As a result of a huge explosion that rocked Beirut Port this evening, one of the UNIFIL ships of the Maritime Task Force docked in the port was damaged, leaving some UNIFIL naval peacekeepers injured – some of them seriously.

“UNIFIL is transporting the injured peacekeepers to the nearest hospitals for medical treatment. [We are] currently assessing the situation, including the scale of the impact on UNIFIL personnel.”

UNIFIL’s Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Del Col said: “We are with the people and the Government of Lebanon during this difficult time and stand ready to help and provide any assistance and support.”

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