A fuel tank explosion in northern Lebanon killed 28 people and injured 79 others on Aug. 15, authorities and medics said.
An adviser to the health ministry said that the death toll of the explosion in Al-Tleil village in the Akkar region had risen to 28..
The Lebanese Red Cross reported that 79 others were injured.
Soldiers and rescuers were still searching for missing people following the explosion.
According to the military, the fuel tank exploded just before 2:00 a.m. local time after it “had been confiscated by the army to distribute to citizens” as the country faces a severe fuel shortage and an economic crisis.
National News Agency reported that the explosion occurred following scuffles between residents who “gathered around the tank to fill up gasoline.”
Lebanese President Michel Aoun ordered an investigation into the blast and called for an emergency meeting of the country’s Supreme Council for Defense to discuss a response to the blast and its repercussions.
The explosion comes less than two weeks after the first anniversary of the Beirut port explosion that killed at least 214 people, injured thousands, and destroyed parts of the city.
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Twitter that the Akkar explosion was “not different” from the Beirut port blast.
“If this was a country that respects its people, its officials would resign, from the president to the very last person responsible for this neglect,” Hariri further said.
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