Visuals shared on social media show thick smoke billowing into the sky as locals are seen running from the site of the explosion.
Michel el-Murr, the head of Beirut’s fire department search and rescue team, said that the duty free area of the port was on fire.
“We don’t know exactly what is burning, we are trying to put out the fire but it is too big, we need a mix of water and foam,” he said. “We have asked for support, we need the civil defence, and all the fire department crews here now.”
The blaze began in a store of tyres and oil at the port, according to Reuters, which cited Lebanese military sources.
Vehicles of the Beirut Fire Brigade and the Civil Defense arrived at the spot to extinguish the fire. Teams from the Red Cross have also joined in rescue efforts.
Lebanon’s Army said it will use its helicopters to help douse the fire. Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud appealed to citizens not to come close to the port for their safety and not to come in the way of firefighting work, Lebanese news agency NNA reported.
On August 4, a blast ripped through the capital city, killing about 190 people and injuring more than 6,000. One month on, seven people are still listed as missing.