03-17-04 - A massive explosion in Baghdad destroyed the Mount Lebanon Hotel and killed at least 27 people. So far reports say a car bomb caused the blast. The hotel is located in the same area that the Saddam Hussien statue fell.
People have begun digging in the rubble hoping to find victims still alive. U.S. soldiers attempted to go into the area to help with rescue efforts, but were driven back by angry Iraqis. Military officials say the soldiers were trying to get people back for fear of a second attack. The explosion left a huge crater. Five smaller, adjacent buildings were badly damaged. Trees were on fire, and flames jumped to nearby buildings. Eight cars caught fire, including one vehicle that was hurled by the blast into a store.