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Live update: Beirut blast death toll rises to 158 as over 6,000 injured


The Lebanese cabinet announced on Wednesday a two-week-long state of emergency in Beirut. The death toll from the deadly blast at the capital's port area Tuesday evening has climbed to 158, with around 6,000 people wounded and 21 are still reported missing. 

Here is what we know so far: 

The blast rocked the Port of Beirut at around 6 p.m. local time (1610 GMT) Tuesday, shaking buildings all over the city and causing massive casualties and damages. 

The cause of the blast is being investigated. But Lebanon's prime minister, Hassan Diab, said the cause of the massive explosion was 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse for six years. President Michel Aoun tweeted it was "unacceptable" the explosives had been stored unsafely. 

Local media and a security source said welding work being carried out on a hole in the warehouse at the port started the massive blast, Reuters reported.

World leaders have offered support and condolences to the country, including Gulf nations in the region. Israel has also offered humanitarian aid. 

A donors' video conference organised by France and the UN will be held on Sunday at 1200 GMT with several world leaders in attendance.

Syria said 43 nationals were killed in the deadly blast and the Netherlands confirmed that the wife of Dutch ambassador to Lebanon Jan Waltmans has died of wounds sustained in the explosion.

A Chinese national sustained a slight injury amid the blast, the Chinese embassy said.