One member of the Canadian military was injured in the deadly explosions Tuesday in Beirut, Lebanon.
More than 100 people are dead and thousands wounded following blasts in the port of the city that struck as Lebanon is on the brink of political and economic collapse.
One Montreal city councillor also told The Canadian Press that a former resident is among the dead.
While the source of the explosion isn’t clear yet, the country’s interior minister told a local television station on Tuesday that the suspected cause was the detonation of roughly 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a confiscation warehouse at the dock since 2014.
A spokesperson for the Canadian military said one member sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the explosions but that all others in the region are safe and accounted for.
“The member, who is on an out-of-Canada posting (not on an operational deployment) self-administered to hospital,” said the military.
“Government of Canada officials are in contact with the member and providing support.”
Canadian military members have been deployed to Lebanon in recent years as part of training and support missions under Operation Impact and the global effort to eradicate ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
But with the coronavirus pandemic, the military ordered most members home in order to be able to be on standby for any required domestic response to the virus.
Some, however, remain in the region.
The military would not say how many are still there, citing operational security, but said there is no impact on Canadian military operations.
Global Affairs Canada said on Tuesday that it has received one request so far for consular assistance from a Canadian in Beirut and continues to monitor the situation.
There are 10,996 Canadians currently registered as being in Lebanon.
No evidence so far indicates the explosions were caused by an attack.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab spoke to the country on Tuesday night and called the tragedy “a real catastrophe” and asked other countries to provide aid for rebuilding.
The crises facing the country are widespread, including food insecurity as the tiny country hosts more than one million Syrian refugees fleeing neighbouring conflicts, along with a currency collapse and rampant unemployment, all rooted in decades of systemic corruption and poor governance.
Some 85 per cent of the country’s grain stores kept at the port are now feared contaminated.
Efforts are set to continue through the day to search for any survivors as well as recovery the bodies of casualties from the blast, and hospitals remain flooded with victims.
With files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press.