The Queen has told the president of Lebanon she is ‘deeply saddened’ by the huge explosion that devastated Beirut.

The blast ripped through the city on Tuesday evening killing at least 100 people and injuring more than 4,000 when a fire in a dockside warehouse ignited 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored nearby.

Shockwaves were sent racing from the explosion site, damaging hospitals and shattering windows for miles around.

A desperate hunt is now underway for survivors trapped in the wreckage of more than 100,000 buildings in the Lebanon capital.

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In a message of solidarity to the Lebanese people, the Queen wrote: ‘Prince Philip and I were deeply saddened by news of the explosion at the Port in Beirut yesterday.

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‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have been injured or lost their lives, and all those whose homes and livelihoods have been affected.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier said the Government is ‘ready to provide support in any way we can’, while Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK stands in solidarity with Lebanon.

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

Witnesses reported seeing a strange, orange cloud like that which appears when toxic nitrogen dioxide gas is released after an explosion involving nitrates.

Donald Trump described the explosion as a ‘terrible attack’, revealing American military generals believe it was likely caused by a bomb.

The president was asked why he called it an attack and not an accident, especially since Lebanese officials say they have not determined the cause of the explosion.

He told reporters at the White House: ‘It would seem like it was based on the explosion. I met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that it was.

‘This was not a – some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of an event… They seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind, yes.’

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