- The Washington Times
Thursday, August 6, 2020

There has not yet been a definitive cause for the massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon earlier this week that claimed the lives of over 100 people and injured thousands more, Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said Thursday.

His comments come days after President Trump said that the explosion was an attack on the city, rather than an accident. But Mr. Hoffman said Thursday that many people have concluded the incident was an accident.

Lebanese investigators have since focused their efforts on possible negligence and are examining a nearby storage facility that contained over 2,700 tons of the highly explosive fertilizer chemical ammonium nitrate.

Mr. Hoffman told reporters Thursday that “different information” has come to light in the last several days leading most officials to now believe it was an accident, and that the situation has been “fast evolving.”

“The president and secretary [Mark Esper] have both been consistent that we’ve reached no definitive cause for the explosion,” Mr. Hoffman said.

“I’m not going to discuss our intelligence … we’re going to continue to investigate,” he continued, adding that the U.S. has offered to assist in the ongoing investigation.

“Many people have posited it was an accident, terrible, unfortunate accident,” Mr. Hoffman said. “So we’re going to work with the intelligence community, we’re going to work with our allies and partners. We’re going to wait and see.”

This story is based in part on wire reports.

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