While the screams of terror that echoed across the city have died down after the massive blast that ripped through Beirut has left a scene of complete devastation and loss, there are claims now emerging that the blast took place inside a facility that was used by Hezbollah.
Even though Israel has denied any involvement, the locals claim that they heard fighter jets before and after the blast around the area. The locals suspect that it was the Israeli fighter jets that took out the Hezbollah weapons facility.
Beirut now has been declared a disaster zone for two weeks, while an investigation has been launched into the cause of the blast, the local authorities have said a report on the cause blast will be submitted in 48 hours.
The impact of the blast was so massive that the explosion was even heard across the Mediterranean in Cyprus. The video of devastation, the blast, and of the horror that has now crippled the struggling country has filled the social media.
Did Israel destroy the Hezbollah weapons facility?
The videos of the blast shared on social media show, a mushroom cloud covering the Beirut sky after the explosion. This led many to initially speculate that it could have been an explosion at an atomic facility. Lebanon's president, Michel Aoun, said 2,750 tonnes of seized ammonium nitrate had been stored unsafely in a warehouse for six years.
Social media users, however, suspect that the blast occurred in a storage facility operated by Hezbollah.
" Beirut explosion is in an area known to be used by Hezbollah for its long-range precision-guided missile project, which Israel publicly calls a red line. I have no specific knowledge but would be surprised if explosives that detonated were not associated with that project," Journalist Noah Pollak tweeted.
Lebanese-American journalist Firas Maksad said in tweet post with hashtag speculation: "Several friends on the ground swear they heard jets (Israeli) before & after the explosion."
He further added: "Unconfirmed reports that #Israel may have taken out Hezbollah weapons facility."
Lebanon in its official statement has accepted that the blast that killed at least 70 people and injured more than 4,000 others took blast at a warehouse containing 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate.
There are, however, a strong suspicion that the rocket fuel stored in the warehouse by Hezbollah had exploded. "Experts that examined the Beirut explosion footage concluded that it was the rocket fuel that exploded. That confirms that it was part of the Hezbollah weapon precision program where they turned dumb rockets into smart guided ones," a Middle East Expert said in a tweet post.
Similarly, in a rather emotional tweet Nathan Rahhal, who calls Lebanon his second-home said: "This is my second home country of Lebanon of which I am also a citizen and this just happened within the last hour Israel bombed the port cause of Hezbollah."
What triggered the blast?
After declaring Beirut as a disaster zone, the country's government has now given the security agencies extraordinary powers to investigate the exact trigger for the explosion. A BBC report citing Lebanon's Supreme Defense Council said those responsible would face the "maximum punishment" possible.
The hospitals in the city were overflowing, while ambulances had to be called in from neighboring cities to ferry the injured and the dead. What is worse is the fact that the blast may have destroyed stockpiles of foodgrains around the port, raising fears that the country that is facing an economic crisis may now head towards a food crisis.