A warehouse containing illegally stored fuel exploded in northern Lebanon early Sunday, killing 28 people and injuring dozens, as the Mediterranean nation grapples with a severe fuel crisis during an economic collapse.
Before the 60,000-liter fuel tank stored in a warehouse in the town of Tleil near the Syrian border exploded, residents in the area had gathered to collect gasoline, triggering a stampede, according to Lebanese state media.
The Lebanese Red Cross said it had recovered 20 bodies from the town, along with 79 injured people and was searching for more casualties. The Lebanon Health Ministry later increased the death toll to 28.
Pictures from the scene circulating on social media showed bodies charred beyond recognition and patients at hospitals wrapped from head to toe in bandages.
The fuel in the warehouse had been seized by the Lebanese armed forces trying to stop smuggling and the black-market trade of gasoline, which has become scarce in Lebanon.