Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

Beirut: Port worker found alive in the sea 30 hours after explosion

Port worker is found bloodied but alive 30 hours after being blown into the sea by the devastating chemical explosion that tore through Beirut

  • Huge explosion ripped through the city of Beirut Tuesday evening, killing at least 100 and wounding 4,000 
  • A man who was flown into the sea in the explosion has been found 30 hours after the bomb blast 
  •  One young girl, who was missing, was found alive in Beirut after spending 24 hours under the rubble
  • Search and rescue teams combed rubble yesterday, before discovering another man who was buried alive 
  • They managed to dig him out, to shouts of ‘Issam is alive’ from a crowd that had gathered to see the moment 
  • Meanwhile dozens of appeals were posted online for those who had gone missing in the aftermath of the blast
  • A nurse was also hailed a hero after being pictured clutching three newborns in the ruins of a hospital 

A man who was blown into the sea when a devastating chemical blast tore through downtown Beirut yesterday has been found alive after 30 hours.

Port of Beirut worker Amin al-Zahed, whose photo was posted on an Instagram page dedicated to locating missing residents, was found in the Mediterannean sea, 30 hours after the blast which rocked the city yesterday. 

An image posted on social media shows a member of a rescue team holding a man covered in blood, who is said to be al-Zahed, on the deck of a ship. 

The port worker was rushed to Rafic Hariri University Hospital in Beirut after his rescue, Al-Arabiya reported. 

Ameen Zahid who was reported missing for 30 hours was found in the sea and he is still alive. He was caught in the Beirut explosion and thrown into the Mediterranean Sea

Port of Beirut worker Amin al-Zahed, whose photo was posted on an Instagram page dedicated to locating missing residents, was reportedly found in the Mediterannean sea, 30 hours after the blast which rocked the city yesterday

Al-Zahed’s condition, and how he managed to survive his ordeal, is currently unknown.      

Shortly after the explosion, an Instagram page was set up to try to help locate missing persons in the aftermath of the blast, which shows hundreds of people whose family’s are unaware as to their whereabouts.  

One young girl, who was missing, was found alive in Beirut after spending 24 hours under the rubble.

As a frantic hunt for missing people continued in the Lebanese capital tonight, footage emerged of rescue workers finding the child lodged between debris.

By torchlight, the crew are seen trying to shift the rubble from around the girl, whose head pokes out from what appears to be the debris from a collapsed building. 

Local media report the video was from tonight and that she spent 24 hours buried following yesterday’s massive blast. 

Dozens are still unaccounted for in Beirut, which officials have called a ‘disaster city’ following the huge blast at the city’s port after 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate went up in flames.

At least 135 people have died, although this figure is expected to rise, and 5,000 have been wounded, the health minister said tonight.

Desperate relatives have been scouring the wreckage for missing loved-ones, and earlier today a man was pulled alive from the rubble of an apartment building.

People could be heard cheering ‘Issam is alive!’ as the wounded man was placed on a stretcher and taken to hospital, one of more than 4,000 injured in the blast.

Meanwhile other desperate citizens launched searches for their loved ones online and in hospital, as dozens of people were reported missing.

Among them were workers at the port where the blast occurred, and a fireman who was dispatched to deal was a fire at the docks before the larger explosion rang out.

Meanwhile a nurse was hailed a hero after saving three newborn babies from a hospital that was shredded by the shockwave from the blast.

By torchlight, the crew are seen trying to shift the rubble from around the girl, whose head pokes out from what appears to be the debris from a collapsed building

This is the moment a man – named only as Issam – was pulled alive from the ruins of a destroyed apartment block in central Beirut on Wednesday, 10 hours after the city was hit by a massive explosion

The man was rushed to a waiting ambulance and taken to hospital, one of more than 4,000 people who were wounded during the tragedy which continued unfolding on Wednesday

Dozens of people have been left missing following the blast, which is thought to have been sparked after a fire at the port ignited 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate – a highly explosive chemical

A nurse working at one of Beirut’s hospitals was hailed a hero after she was pictured holding three newborn babies in a destroyed reception area, that was filled with bodies and wounded people

The woman, who has not been publicly identified, was pictured cradling the newborns in the reception of the hospital by photographer Bilal Marie Jawich.

He said the reception area was filled with dozens of bodies and people who had been wounded in the explosion.

Four nurses at the hospital were killed, while 200 patients were wounded and the entire building was left without power for several hours. 

At least 100 people were killed in the explosion, thought to have been triggered by a fire in a warehouse used to store ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical.  

A welder is thought to have been working in an adjacent building, sparking a blaze that eventually reached the ammonium and caused it to go off with the force of 3 kilotons – roughly a fifth of the power of the Little Boy bomb used on Hiroshima.

An Instagram page called ‘locate victims Beirut’ sprung up in the wake of the tragedy, featuring images of those whose fates were unknown while emergency rooms were thronged with people looking for news. 

Marwan Chamaouni (left) and Leila Nasser Fawaz (right) were among those reported as missing by Lebanese media following the explosion in Beirut which killed at least 100 people

A firefighter named Ralph Mallahi (left and right) was also listed among the missing online, with relatives saying he was sent to the site of the initial fire before the main explosion and has not been seen since

Appeals were also issued online for Ali Abbas Ismael (left) and Marwan Chamouni (right), who could not be found after the explosion

The intensity of the blast threw victims into the sea and rescue teams were still trying to recover bodies. Many of those killed were port and custom employees and people working in the area or driving through during rush hour.

The Red Cross was coordinating with the Health Ministry to set up morgues because hospitals were overwhelmed.

As thousands of walking wounded made their way into hospital, search and rescue teams were dispatched into the ruins of the city’s port and surrounding area to hunt for survivors and victims.

Authorities warned that the death toll is likely to rise as the day goes on.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab vowed those responsible will ‘pay the price’ as he declared a two-week state of emergency to deal with the crisis, urging all world leaders and ‘friends of Lebanon’ to donate aid to the country, adding: ‘We are witnessing a real catastrophe.’

A badly-injured man sits in the waiting room of a hospital in Beirut as staff try to cope with huge numbers of walking wounded and critical patients in the wake of the blast

Medics retrieve a body from close to the site of the blast at Beirut’s port, which was entirely destroyed by the explosion

More than 100 people have been confirmed dead in the explosion, but authorities warned that number is likely to rise

A wounded man is carried from a boat to waiting medics on Tuesday evening, following the explosion

Wounded men are evacuated following of an explosion at the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut last night

The US, UK, France, Gulf states and even bitter rivals Israel have offered money and assistance, as President Michel Aoun declared three days of mourning and announced he would release $66million of emergency funds.

The European Union said Wednesday it would rush rescuers, search dogs and equipment to Beirut to look for any survivors trapped in rubble after the massive blast that struck the city.

‘The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is now coordinating the urgent deployment of over a 100 highly trained firefighters, with vehicles, dogs and equipment, specialised in search and rescue in urban contexts,’ the European commission for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic, said in a statement.

‘They will work with the Lebanese authorities to save lives on the ground.’

Lebanese authorities requested help under the mechanism after the port of Beirut was hit by twin explosions on Tuesday – the second one a blast that mushroomed out with the force of an earthquake.

Lenarcic said the Czech Republic, Greece and the Netherlands have already committed to the operation, while France, Germany and Poland were offering assistance. He called it ‘an immediate first step’.

‘We stand with Lebanon and its people and are ready to mobilise further help,’ he said.

The EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism, created in 2001, enables the European Union to coordinate aid efforts to respond to emergency situations around the world. 

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