Lebanon: Hezbollah arms depot blast caused by ‘technical error’

The blast occurred in the southern village of Ein Qana, about 50km south of the capital Beirut.

Southern Lebanon is a political stronghold of Hezbollah. [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

An arms depot of the powerful Shia Muslim group Hezbollah exploded in southern Lebanon, sending a new shockwave across the country still reeling from a blast in the capital that killed almost 200 people in August.

The Lebanese army said the blast occurred in a building in the southern village of Ein Qana, about 50km (30 miles) south of the capital Beirut, on Tuesday and that it was investigating.

Hezbollah’s media office told Al Jazeera the explosion was caused by a “technical error” at their arms depot.


“This explosion was at a house that stored weapons – result of technical error. No one was killed or injured. The building belonged to a Hezbollah affiliated de-mining association,” said Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut.

It was not immediately clear what the “error” was that caused the powerful blast.


Hezbollah members imposed a security cordon around the blast area, barring journalists from reaching it.

Footage broadcast by the local Al Jadeed station showed damage to buildings and debris scattered across a large area.

The shaky footage also showed what appeared to be a minibus on fire. Other footage showed a wrecked SUV parked outside a damaged house.

The explosion comes seven weeks after the powerful explosion at Beirut port, caused by the detonation of nearly 3,000 tonnes of improperly stored ammonium nitrate.

The explosion killed nearly 200 people, injured 6,500 and damaged tens of thousands of buildings in the capital, Beirut.

It is still not clear what caused the initial fire that ignited the chemicals, and so far no one has been held accountable.

An ambulance blocks a road that leads to the site of an explosion that rocked the village of Ain Qana. [Mohammed Zaatari/AP Photo]
Source: News Agencies