Beirut explosion – Livestream footage captures moment church is hit by force of blast as priest delivers mass
THIS is the chilling moment a priest had to run for his life when his church was caught in the middle of the Beirut blast.
He was livestreaming a mass on Tuesday evening just as the deadly explosion erupted in the Lebanese capital, say reports.
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The video begins with the holy man seen burning incense in front ofthe church's altar.
Within seconds the huge explosion can be heard in the background and debrisbegins to fall from above.
Then the camera suddenly begins to shake uncontrollably.
To make things worse, the lights then go out and the church is plunged into partial darkness.
The camera is then dropped to the floor as desperate shouts are heard in the background.
It is currently unclear whether the priest or any of his parishioners were hurt in the church collapse.
Earlier we toldhow the blast was captured in a live BBC broadcast sending a journalist flying.
A colossal explosion a fifth the size of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb killed at least 100 people and injured thousands more.
The disaster was sparked when a welder ignited 2,700 tons of explosive chemicals in the port area, it’s reported.
BBC News Arabic journalist Maryam Toumi was in the middle of a video interview when the devastating blast rocked the city.
An ominous rumbling sound could be heard as she stands up looking terrified.
The camera is then knocked to the floor as the massive explosion hits and her interviewees watch in horror.
Ms Toumi can be heard screaming as broken glass scatters across the floor and an alarm starts sounding.
After a tense few moments the reporter turns the camera around and picks herself up off the floor, seemingly unharmed.
Shocking pictures from the scene show flattened buildings in the wake of the catastrophe which could be heard 110 miles away in Cyprus.
Beirut governor Marwan Abboud today sobbed on live TV as he compared the blast to those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the first ever nuclear bombs were dropped, killing thousands.
He said: “I’ve never seen such a big destruction. This is a national calamity, this is a disaster for Lebanon.”
Breaking down in tears, he added: “We need to remain strong, we need to hold on and be brave … but this is too much…”
He added that a team of 10 hero firefighters who raced to the initial blast had disappeared after the second massive explosion.
Up to 250,000 people have been left homeless by the explosion which caused around £5billion of damage, claimed local reports.
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