AA / Beirut
The number of victims of the tanker explosion on Sunday in Akkar, northern Lebanon has risen to 22. 79 injured have also been reported, according to Lebanese Minister of Health Hamad Hassan.
Local media reported that the minister said the majority of those injured in the blast were in critical condition.
A first assessment relayed by the national information agency (ANI) reported at least 20 dead and 80 wounded in the town of Al-Talil.
ANI said all victims were transferred to Al-Youssef Halba and Akkar-Rahal hospitals in Sheikh Mohamed town, Al-Salam hospital in Tripoli and Sayidat Al-Salam in Qobayat and hospital Al-Jiitaoui in Beirut.
The same source added that an operation to search for possible missing persons, near the site of the explosion of the tanker, had been carried out by elements of the army, the Red Cross, the Defense. civilian as well as the emergency and rescue apparatus of Tripoli.
And to indicate that the inhabitants of the region had launched an appeal for blood donation in hospitals to help people with serious burns, whose state of health is critical.
The agency also stressed that the circumstances of the explosion were still unclear, pending the results of the investigation and the testimony of the injured.
The mayor of Al-Talil, Joseph Mansour, where the disaster took place, however, said that a person had lit a lighter on the spot, according to local media.
Since Saturday, a significant security deployment has been observed at gas stations in several Lebanese regions, whose owners hide the fuels for speculative purposes in order to sell them at high prices.
The governor of the Central Bank, Riad Salamé, had refused, on the same day, to reverse a recent decision to lift fuel subsidies despite the anger and concerns of the Lebanese, according to local media.
* Translated from Arabic by Malèk Jomni
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