The unexpected Beirut blast in Lebanon shook not only the country’s capital, but also the rest of the world. At least 135 fatalities occurred due to the massive explosion, leaving another 5,000 people wounded by the shockwaves and debris. The blast impacted the city as a giant mushroom cloud rose above Beirut’s port.
The cause of the explosion was allegedly due to highly explosive material that was stored in a warehouse near the port. To be exact, the culprit was 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that was unsafely stored for over 6 years.
Migrant worker grabs toddler and saves her from shattered glass and windows as the second big explosion erupted in Beirut earlier today. She did not even think. Migrant workers deserve better in #Lebanon – this woman is a hero. pic.twitter.com/BKnEUl7D7J
— Luna Safwan – لونا صفوان (@LunaSafwan) August 4, 2020
Many citizens of Beirut shared startling videos of the incident on social media. Most videos were recorded within the confines of their homes which suffered broken windows and furniture due to the impact. However, some were out and about, completely unaware of the impending blast.
One such individual was Dr. Israa Seblani, a young doctor, who was about to get married on the day of the explosion. Her and her husband, Ahmad Sbeih, were on the streets of Beirut, posing for their wedding photographs.
Seblani appeared radiant in her crisp, white wedding gown as she smiled for the camera. According to her, it was a day like any other, with people obliviously dining and shopping.
While filming the outdoor photography session, an eardrum-shattering sound resonated throughout the streets as they felt the earth-shaking impact of the explosion. All of this was caught on camera. Watch the clip below:
According to the couple, the sky turned a murky black colour before the explosion boomed and startled them. A gust of wind carried the sound, hurtling towards the city like a massive roar. Seblani told CNN,
“The area I was in, within matter of seconds, went from beautiful place to ghost town filled with dust, shattered glass and people yelling [and] bleeding. It was like a nightmare scene.”
The photographer staggered at the impact but continued documenting the event. After slightly recovering from the blast, the wedding party headed inside to safety. Thankfully, everyone was safe. In the aftermath, Seblani recounted her feeling of absolute fear during the incident. She said,
“What happened during the explosion here – there is no word to explain… (sic). I was shocked, I was wondering what happened, am I going to die? How am I going to die?”
The streets of Beirut were obliterated by the impact. Shattered glass remained strewn across the streets and what once were substantial buildings, became pieces of debris. Death counts began to climb as a result of the blast while others were hospitalised due to severe injuries.
As of now, searches have been implemented to recover more survivors or bodies hidden within the remnants of the city. Over 300,000 people are currently homeless. Several hospitals have closed, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), and patients had to be airlifted to different cities for medical care.
If you wish to help the citizens of Lebanon, you can donate to the Lebanese Red Cross.
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