UK says too early to speculate on cause of massive blast in Beirut

Men ride a motorcycle past a damaged building near the site of Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 5, 2020. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Wednesday that it was too early to speculate on the cause of a massive blast that ripped through Beirut killing at least 100 people.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday cast the explosion as a possible attack, though Lebanese leaders said that it was likely caused by highly explosive material that had been stored at warehouses in the capital for years.

When asked about speculation about the causes of the blast, British junior education minister Nick Gibb said: “The Lebanese authorities are of course investigating the cause of that tragedy and before we have the results of that inquiry it is premature to speculate.”

Gibb also told Sky that Britain was discussing what technical and financial assistance could be offered to Lebanon.

Reporting by Sarah Young; writing by Guy Faulconbridge