The huge explosion in Lebanese capital Beirut killed at least 100 people and injured more than 4,000 others on Tuesday.
President Michel Aoun said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored unsafely in a warehouse for six years.
The ammonium nitrate had reportedly been unloaded from a ship impounded at the port in 2013, and then stored in a warehouse there.
The whole city was shaken by the blast, which began with a fire at the port which exploded into a mushroom cloud.
The nation would observe a three day mourning period from Wednesday. The government said it would release an emergency fund of US$ 66 million to assist.
Lebanese Red Cross speaking with local media said, “What we are witnessing is a huge catastrophe.. There are victims and casualties everywhere.”
“Over 100 have lost their lives. Our teams are still conducting search and rescue operations in the surrounding areas,” the Lebanese Red Cross added.
Condolence messages poured in from across the world.
“Let me begin by sending America’s deepest sympathies to the people of Lebanon.” pic.twitter.com/CZitqk2A0S
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 4, 2020
Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in Beirut city leading to loss of life and property. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 5, 2020
Profundamente triste com as cenas da explosão em Beirute. O Brasil abriga a maior comunidade de libaneses do mundo e, deste modo, sentimos essa tragédia como se fosse em nosso território. Manifesto minha solidariedade às famílias das vítimas fatais e aos feridos.
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) August 5, 2020
The explosions comea amid political tension in Lebanon, with street demonstrations against the government’s handling the worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
There has also been tension on the border with Israel, which said last week that it had thwarted an attempt by Hezbollah to infiltrate Israeli territory.
Tensions are also high ahead of the verdict in a trial over the killing of ex-PM Rafik Hariri in 2005. A UN tribunal is due to issue its verdict in the trial of four suspects in the murder by car bomb of Hariri on Friday.