A large explosion in Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, is reported to have led to the death of at least 100 people, apart from injuring thousands.

The explosion, which occurred at the port of Beirut, was caused from an ammonium nitrate blast.

Lebanon President Michel Aoun said that the explosion was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which was stored unsafely in a warehouse.

Aoun has also announced the release of $66m in emergency funds.

Ammonium nitrate, a compound of ammonia and nitrogen, is used as a fertiliser in agriculture and in making explosive materials.

Rafik Hariri University Hospital head Firass Abiad told BBC that there had been “extremely chaotic” conditions following the explosion.

“We had tens of casualties arriving at the emergency room at the same time and initially they were mainly people who had injuries from glass.

“We are hoping to find survivors although the hope is getting dimmer by the minute.”

Investigation underway to know the exact cause of explosion

According to officials, investigation is underway to ascertain the exact cause of the ammonium nitrate explosion.

The chemical had reportedly been stored in a warehouse at the port since 2013.

Lebanon Health Minister Hamad Hassan was quoted Reuters as saying: “There are many people missing until now. People are asking the emergency department about their loved ones and it is difficult to search at night because there is no electricity. We are facing a real catastrophe and need time to assess the extent of damages.”