More than 60 people remain missing in Beirut, four days after the explosion in the port that devastated the capital and killed more than 150 people, a Lebanese Ministry of Health official said on Saturday.
"The death toll is 154, including 25 that have not yet been identified," said the official, quoted by AFP, adding that "60 people are still missing." The local health ministry said on Friday that at least 120 of the more than 5000 people injured in the explosion on Tuesday were still in critical condition.
The explosion at the port of Beirut was caused by several tons of ammonium nitrate, which had been stored for six years in a warehouse "without precautionary measures", as the Lebanese government itself acknowledged. Thousands of Lebanese are expected this Saturday at a demonstration in Beirut against the country's leaders, who blame the disaster.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Friday rejected any international investigation into the explosion, believing it would only dilute the truth. Meanwhile, some 20 port and customs officials have been arrested, according to judicial and security sources, including customs director general Badri Daher and the chairman of the port's board of directors, Hassan Koraytem.
The explosions that hit Beirut on Tuesday left at least 154 people dead and about 5000 injured, according to the latest assessment by Lebanese authorities. Up to 300 people are said to have been homeless due to the explosions, said Lebanese capital governor Marwan Abboud.
On Tuesday, the Portuguese government said it had no indication that there were national citizens among the victims.