Fireworks, ammonium nitrate likely fueled Beirut explosion

Experts and video footage suggest that fireworks and ammonium nitrate were the fuel that ignited a massive explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday. The scale of the damage, from the epicenter of the explosion at the port of Beirut to the windows blown out miles away, resembles other blasts involving the chemical compound commonly used as an agricultural fertilizer. But the compound itself typically doesn’t detonate on its own and requires another ignition source. That likely came from a fire that engulfed what initially appeared to be fireworks stored at the port.