UPDATED WITH COMMENTS BY RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR IN LEBANON, REVISIONS THROUGHOUT
By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russia announced on Wednesday it is sending five planes with humanitarian aid to Lebanon after Tuesday's massive explosion at the Port of Beirut.
The planes will deliver a mobile hospital, rescue and medical specialists, equipment and a supply of medications, Russia’s Emergency Ministry said in a statement.
All specialists will be equipped with special suits and protective equipment in light of the coronavirus pandemic, it said.
Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexandr Zasypkin told reporters at a videoconference that so far there is no information about Russian nationals killed or injured in the explosion.
Asked about the cause of the disaster, he said careless handling of explosive material probably led to the explosion.
He cited ammonium nitrate confiscated from a damaged ship in 2014, in violation of safety rules.
Lebanon is in mourning after the explosion, which has killed 135 people and injured more than 4,000.
Lebanon’s Supreme Defense Council declared the capital a disaster area.
The explosion deepens the woes of the country, which has been suffering from a severe economic crisis and deep political polarization.
Following the disaster, countries all over the world are extending their condolences to Lebanon and offering help.