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3 Reported Dead, 45 Hurt in East Beirut Car Bomb Explosion

May 23, 1986|Associated Press

BEIRUT — A car bomb exploded in Christian east Beirut during the morning rush hour today, killing at least three people and wounding at least 45 others.

The blast in the Sinn el-Fil neighborhood collapsed two apartment buildings and set fire to a dozen others along a narrow street near a crowded vegetables market.

The car, a Renault 5, was rigged with about 200 pounds of TNT and parked next to a school wall on Ghazal street, police said. They said there were no casualties among the students of Al-Sharq secondary school, however.

An hour after the explosion, rescuers said they had dug three bodies out of the debris and that at least 45 other people had been hospitalized.

Civil defense teams and firefighters said they feared many victims might have been buried in the rubble of the two collapsed buildings. Police reported "plenty of casualties between dead and wounded."

Hospitals made urgent appeals via Beirut radio stations for blood donations.

Black smoke shrouded the area of the blast, making it difficult for ambulances and fire engines to reach the burning buildings, police said.

The blast was the sixth car bombing in Christian east Beirut this year. At least 63 people were killed and 405 wounded in the five previous bombings.

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