Lebanese security forces faced dozens of anti-government protesters last night. Annoyed by the devastating explosion that killed at least 149 people, they are widely considered to be the most shocking expression of government incompetence.
Tear gas was fired to disperse brawls that broke out in devastated streets in central Beirut and led to parliament. The debris from Tuesday's explosion was still all over the area.
In addition to the 149 deaths, the blast injured more than 5,000 people, left 300,000 more homeless and caused panic over wheat shortages after 15,000 tons of grain were blown from silos.
While investigators have arrested the port manager and 15 other officials looking for answers, many Lebanese blame the political elite and the corruption and mismanagement that had brought the country to the brink of economic collapse before the disaster.
Lebanon is already aiming for $ 20 billion in funding from the IMF and is now facing billions more in disaster costs. The losses from the explosion are estimated to be between $ 10 billion and $ 15 billion.
A crowd had previously visited French President Emmanuel Macron and asked for his help in overthrowing Lebanon's slandered leaders. Many sang for "revolution" and "overthrow the regime".
Lebanese security forces faced dozens of anti-government protesters yesterday evening, angry at the devastating explosion, widely regarded as the most shocking expression of government incompetence
Tear gas was fired to disperse brawls that broke out in devastated streets in central Beirut and led to parliament. The debris from Tuesday's explosion was still all over the area
Many Lebanese blame the political elite and the corruption and mismanagement that had brought the country to the brink of economic collapse before the disaster
The explosion, caused by a stash of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that caught fire, has restarted anti-government protests in Lebanon that began last year
A view of shipping containers at the damaged area of Tuesday's explosion in what is now Beirut's port area
Explosion causes panic over food shortages in Lebanon
The destruction of the port in Tuesday's explosion further restricted access to food for a population that depends on imports for 85 percent of their food.
Around 15,000 tons of wheat, corn and barley were blown up from the towering 55-year-old silos and a nearby mill was destroyed.
At least one ship unloading wheat during the explosion was damaged and its stocks were inedible.
The day after the explosion, hundreds of customers flocked to the Al-Kaboushieh bakery in the Hamra district of Beirut for bread.
& # 39; Goods completely sold out. Everyone bought five bags instead of one in case there weren't any more, ”said employee Hayder Mousavi.
Lebanese breadmakers and consumers fear that the loss of the 120,000-tonne silos will exacerbate months of wheat worries, making bread more difficult and ultimately more expensive for a population whose purchasing power has already declined.
"When we saw the silos, we panicked," said Ghassan Bou Habib, CEO of the Lebanese pastry shop for wooden bakeries.
In a liquidity crisis since the autumn, the banks stopped sending dollars abroad, which hindered imports.
According to Blominvest Bank, container activity in the first half of 2020 had already declined by 45 percent compared to the previous year, while the astonishing depreciation of the Lebanese pound led to significant price increases.
“We were already struggling with the (small) wheat and flour that were available. The mills weren't getting enough or they had no fuel to run, ”said Bou Habib.
The feeling of resentment and anger towards the government can be felt in the words of the protesters, and the Arabic hashtag "Prepare the snares" is trending on social media.
Anthony Elghossain, a Lebanese-American lawyer, said: “Lebanese leaders killed a country, buried it and put it on its grave. That's what people are feeling right now.
"For 30 years people have been telling themselves it can't get much worse, but look at it now … they were playing hot potatoes with a mega-bomb," he said, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Mr Macron, who was attacked by angry Lebanese during the first visit by a foreign leader since the explosion, promised to mobilize aid to the country affected by the explosion.
However, he warned that without serious reforms there would be no blank check for executives, and at a press conference he did called for an international investigation into the explosion.
"If no reforms are carried out, Lebanon will continue to decline," Macron said after being received at the airport by Lebanese President Michel Aoun. “A political change is also required here. This explosion was to mark the beginning of a new era. & # 39;
He also promised that French aid would be given transparently and "will not get into the hands of corruption".
In one powerful moment the French leader stopped and hugged a distraught woman in the crowd who heard screaming, “You are sitting with warlords. They manipulated us last year. & # 39; Macron replied, & # 39; I'm not here to help you. I am here to help you & # 39 ;.
Hours after Macron left Gemmayzeh, Justice Minister Marie-Claude tried to visit Najm only to be evicted by demonstrators.
It comes when a leading Lebanese opposition blamed the terrorist group Hezbollah, along with the country's "corrupt" government, for the devastating explosion that capsized a cruise ship and claimed 149 lives.
Bahaa Hariri, whose father, Prime Minister Rafiq, was assassinated in 2005, said yesterday evening that everyone in the city knows that Hezbollah controls Beirut's port and airport and that it is inconceivable that the authorities are unaware that the deadly ammonium nitrate is there all in one Warehouse was stored.
For the first time, 54-year-old Hariri said: "The question we have to ask ourselves is why this combustible material was allowed to stay in the middle of this city of two million people for six years."
“It is crystal clear that Hezbollah is responsible for the port and warehouse where the ammonium nitrate was stored.
“Nothing goes in and out of the port or the airport when they know. Nothing.
“Your decision to put it in the middle of a city of two million people was a complete disaster. And now we have a ruined city center. & # 39;
To date, at least 145 confirmed dead, approximately 5,000 wounded, 300,000 homeless and widespread damage estimated at $ 5 billion in total
Yesterday a crowd bullyed French President Emmanuel Macron and called for his help in overthrowing Lebanon's slandered leaders. Many sang for "revolution" and "overthrow the regime".
Mr Macron, who made the first visit by a foreign leader since the explosion, promised to mobilize aid to the blasted country but warned that there would be no blank check for leaders without serious reforms and called for one at a press conference international investigation of the explosion
In one powerful moment the French leader stopped and hugged a distraught woman in the crowd who heard screaming, “You are sitting with warlords. They manipulated us last year. & # 39; Macron replied, & # 39; I'm not here to help you. I am here to help you & # 39;
Bahaa Hariri, whose father, Prime Minister Rafiq, was assassinated in 2005, said yesterday evening that everyone in the city knows that Hezbollah controls Beirut's port and airport and that it is inconceivable that the authorities are unaware that the deadly ammonium nitrate is there all in one Warehouse was stored
The Queen has expressed her "deep sadness" in the places of devastation in Beirut after a massive explosion that killed more than 100 people
It is believed that 300,000 homeless people and widespread damage are estimated at up to $ 5 billion – including a 120-meter-long cruise ship that capsized as a result of the explosion.
Hospitals were also badly damaged in the blast, and medical centers were overwhelmed with cases other than Covid-19 for the first time in months, with some having to turn away the wounded.
A military judge who led the investigation into the explosion on Tuesday said 16 employees at the port of Beirut where the explosion took place had been arrested. According to the state news agency, 18 people were interviewed, including port and customs officials.
While investigators focus on port officials, many Lebanese blame the political elite and the corruption and mismanagement that had brought the country to the brink of economic collapse before the disaster.
The Cypriot police questioned a Russian about alleged links to a ship and its cargo of ammonium nitrate, which is believed to have caused the devastating explosion.
The explosion has restarted the protests against the government in Lebanon, which began last year, on charges of deadlocked incompetence and corruption.
Emmanuel Macron offered France's support for the Lebanese people when he visited Beirut on Thursday, but warned that the country would "continue to sink" if its leaders failed to reform.
A leading Lebanese opposition figure, along with the country's government, has blamed Hezbollah for the devastating explosion in Beirut on Tuesday, in which a cruise ship (pictured) was overturned, killing 137 people
Dozens of funerals have now started across the city after the blast killed at least 137 people. Pictured: Carole Helou hugs the coffin of her sister Nicole, 25, who was killed in the massive explosion two days ago
It is believed that 300,000 homeless people and widespread damage are estimated at up to $ 5 billion – including a 120-meter-long cruise ship that capsized as a result of the explosion
Mr Hariri's comments today echo the warnings Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon addressed to the United Nations over the past year. At the time, the ambassador said, "Israel noted that Iran and the Quds Force have begun to expand the exploitation of civilian sea canals and the port of Beirut in particular."
Speaking to the 15-member Security Council, he added: "The port of Beirut is now the port of Hezbollah."
Hezbollah has been designated a terrorist organization in many countries, including the UK and the United States. In January the UK admitted that its political wing was part of the terrorist group alongside its military wing.
Mr Hariri, whose younger brother Saad was also Prime Minister, said: “I cannot speculate about the exact events in the port that day, but Hezbollah is a well-known terrorist organization and I think the more destruction it causes, the better it is them.
“Their symbiotic relationship with the government gives them full confidence to do what they want.
& # 39; We urgently need an international investigation into this tragedy. You cannot trust the government or Hezbollah to conduct a proper investigation. We have to have an external and fast one.
France has long tried to support its former colony and has provided emergency aid since the explosion, but is concerned about endemic corruption and has pushed for reform as the Middle Eastern country's financial crisis deepened. Pictured: President Macron arrives to inspect the construction site
At least 137 people were killed and another 5,000 injured in Tuesday night's explosion, which was allegedly the size of a small nuclear weapon. Pictured: wreckage of a ship that was destroyed in the explosion
& # 39; There is a bankrupt relationship between these two warlords and they must go. History shows that warlords do not cultivate land, they abuse it. We have to move Lebanon from one country to one nation. & # 39;
The Special Court for Lebanon, which has been investigating the assassination of Rafiq Hariri for 15 years, was due to pronounce its verdict on Friday. This has now been postponed to August 18th.
The blast left 137 dead, at least 5,000 wounded, and 300,000 homeless as dozen of funerals begin across the city.
Photos recently emerged of a cruise ship, the Orient Queen, which capsized as a result of the explosion in the port of Beirut.
The 120-meter-long ship with a capacity of up to 300 passengers carried no passengers on board at the time the cruise was canceled in the summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the ship's crews was killed, another was missing. Several other crew members are staying in hospitals across the city, according to ship operator Abou Merhi Cruises.
"It's a sad, sad day for all of us," said the cruise operator on social media.
& # 39; Abou Merhi Cruises lost a precious soul in the tragedy in the port of Beirut. Heilemariam Reta (Hailey) from Ethiopia.
"Our prayers and thoughts go to the family of Mustafa Airout from Syria, who was in the port and is still missing."
It is believed that 300,000 homeless people and widespread damage are estimated at up to $ 5 billion – including a 120-meter-long cruise ship that capsized as a result of the explosion. Pictured: A soldier walks in the port of Beirut at the site of the explosion
The blast left 137 dead, at least 5,000 wounded, and 300,000 homeless as dozen of funerals begin across the city. Pictured: Men carry the coffin of 25-year-old Nicole Helou, a Lebanese woman who was killed in the explosion on Tuesday
The explosion has threatened to restart anti-government protests in Lebanon that have been going on since last year on charges of deadlocked incompetence and corruption (following the explosion pictured).
The explosion threatens to restart anti-government protests in Lebanon that have been going on since last year on allegations of deadlocked incompetence and corruption.
According to two letters from the Director General of Lebanese Customs, the dangerous cargo of ammonium nitrate was reportedly dropped in September 2013 by Russian businessman Igor Grechushkin.
A ship with the cargo was arrested on the way from Batumi in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia to Mozambique and was never recovered.
For unclear reasons, the dock workers unloaded the chemical that can be used to make fertilizers and explosives and stored them in the port where it stayed for six years.
The captain of the ship, which was carrying explosives, sounded the alarm
The captain of a Russian ship carrying a cargo of ammonium nitrate confiscated in Beirut said he had regularly raised the alarm about the "power drum" years before it exploded and destroyed large parts of the city.
Boris Prokoshev, who was at the helm of the tanker Rhosus in 2013 when it had to make an emergency stop in Lebanon, said he wrote to Vladimir Putin regularly about the dangerous ship after it was seized.
Prokoshev, now 70, said Igor Grechushkin, the ship's owner and the ammonium on board, washed the ship's hands and left the crew and cargo stranded for months.
The crew were freed the following year and the ammonium was taken to a warehouse where it lay for six years until it was ignited by a fire earlier this week. This resulted in an explosion that killed at least 137 people and injured 5,000.
Prokoshev explained that the Rhosus with its dangerous cargo was en route from Batumi in Georgia to Mozambique when it had to make an unscheduled stop in Beirut due to problems with radar and engine.
The ship spent more than a year in port with Prokoshev and a handful of Ukrainian sailors on board when the Lebanese attempted to collect fees and fines from Grechushkin.
Prokoshev claims he wrote to Putin "every month" while the ship was detained, adding, "The ship's owner has left.
& # 39; The owner has abandoned the shipment of ammonium nitrate. It's an explosive substance. And we were left too.
"We lived on a powder keg for ten months without getting paid."
It was kept in Camp 12 next to a number of other buildings where customs kept trade goods and personal effects of people who had shipped them to Lebanon.
It has been reported that retrieving items from the port required bundles of money to pay off various factions in the port's bureaucracy.
Lebanon has placed every official responsible for the security of the port of Beirut over the past six years under house arrest while investigating the explosion.
The head of the port of Beirut, Hassan Koraytem, told the government-affiliated broadcaster OTV that the customs department and the state security had requested the export or removal of the material, but that "nothing happened".
The country's political leaders vowed that those responsible for the tragedy would "pay the price," but customs officials dismissed the guilty finger, saying they had been warned repeatedly of the danger but had not acted.
Raghida Dergham of the Beirut Institute said yesterday: “The storage of ammonium nitrate in a civilian port is a crime against humanity that cannot go unpunished.
& # 39; Convictions are not enough. I am sure but devastated. I lost friends. I lost my apartment. If I had been home I would have lost my life. & # 39;
Emmanuel Macron has offered France's support for the Lebanese people since he visited Beirut on Thursday, but warned that the country would "continue to sink" if its leaders failed to reform.
France has long tried to support its former colony and has provided emergency aid since the explosion, but is concerned about endemic corruption and has pushed for reform as the Middle Eastern country's financial crisis deepened.
After landing in Beirut, Macron said that France's solidarity with the Lebanese people was unconditional, but that he wanted to tell political figures some "homeland truths".
"Beyond the explosion, we know the crisis is serious here and it brings with it the historic responsibility of political leaders," Macron told reporters.
"We cannot do without mutual truths," he added. "If reforms are not implemented, Lebanon will continue to decline."
An official source familiar with the preliminary investigation blamed the incident for negligence. Lebanese citizens turned their anger on politicians who have overcome decades of state corruption and poor governance and plunged the nation into financial crisis.
Lebanese Customs Director General Badri Wollen said the country's judiciary had been briefed six times about the hazardous chemicals being stored in a warehouse in the Lebanese capital.
It is believed that customs officials asked authorities to remove the hazardous substance from Hangar 12 as they believe it will exist for the city and be handed over to the army or sold to an explosives company.
& # 39; We asked for it to be exported again, but it didn't. We leave it up to the experts and those affected to determine why, ”said Hence.
Another source, close to a port worker, said a team that inspected the ammonium nitrate six months ago warned that it would "blow up all of Beirut" if it was not moved.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab vowed to those responsible "to pay the price" when he declared a two-week state of emergency to deal with the crisis and urged all leaders and "friends of Lebanon" to donate aid to the country, adding added: "We are experiencing a real disaster."
Documents published online suggested they could be handed over to the army or sold to an explosives company, but received no replies, leaving the cargo of explosives languishing in the now devastated port area of the capital.
Ammonium nitrate is a chemical used in fertilizer bombs and is widely used in the construction industry, but also by insurgent groups like the Taliban and the IRA for improvised explosives.
At least 5,000 people were injured in Tuesday night's explosion, which was reportedly the size of a small nuclear weapon. The explosion left 300,000 homeless and caused damage estimated at up to $ 5 billion. Half of the buildings in Beirut were affected
The explosion threatens to spark again anti-government protests in Lebanon, which have been going on since last year, on charges of deadlocked incompetence and corruption (following the explosion pictured).
Lebanon is heavily dependent on imports and the destruction of the port and the worsening monetary crisis have raised fears of shortages. Pictured: Buildings demolished in the explosion in the port of Beirut
Authorities have cordoned off the port itself, where the explosion left a crater 200 meters in diameter and crushed a large grain silo, the contents of which were emptied into the rubble. It is estimated that around 85 percent of the country's grain was stored there.
Lebanon is heavily dependent on imports and the destruction of the port and the worsening monetary crisis have raised fears of shortages.
Two planeloads of French rescue workers and supplies were sent to Beirut, and Macron was due to arrive on Thursday to aid the former protectorate. The countries remain closely linked politically and economically.
Other countries, including Greece, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey and the European Union, have deployed medical supplies, humanitarian aid and search and rescue teams.
Es kommt, nachdem ein tragisches Foto aufgetaucht ist, das die letzten Momente von Feuerwehrleuten zeigt, die geschickt wurden, um einen Brand im Lager 12 in Beiruts Hafen zu bekämpfen, bevor die darin gelagerten Chemikalien mit der Kraft eines kleinen Nuklearwaffen explodierten
Es kommt, nachdem ein tragisches Foto aufgetaucht ist, das die letzten Momente von Feuerwehrleuten zeigt, die geschickt wurden, um einen Brand im Lager 12 in Beiruts Hafen zu bekämpfen, bevor die darin gelagerten Chemikalien mit der Kraft eines kleinen Nuklearwaffen explodierten.
Das von MailOnline verifizierte Bild zeigt Feuerwehrleute, die versuchen, das Schloss von einer Tür unter einem Schild mit der Aufschrift „Eingang 12“ zu lösen, sowie Schilder, die vor gefährlichen Chemikalien im Inneren warnen.
Die Person, die das Foto aufgenommen hat, wurde mit dem auf seinem Telefon gefundenen Foto als tot bestätigt, während der Gouverneur von Beirut dies sagte After the explosion, 10 firefighters who were triggered when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the warehouse caught fire.
The picture became widespread on Arabic-language Twitter accounts on Wednesday as people paid tribute to firefighters believed to have perished.
Jo Noon, Methal Hawwa und Najib Hati waren Teil eines 10-köpfigen Schnellreaktionsteams. Neun von ihnen werden noch vermisst, während eine Kollegin, die 25-jährige Sahar Faris, für tot erklärt wurde.
Ms. Faris, who has since been dubbed the "Bride of Beirut" on social media, was engaged to be married next June. Gestern hat ihr Verlobter Gilbert Karaan einen Tribut veröffentlicht, in dem er sagte: "Du hast mir den Rücken gebrochen, du hast mir das Herz gebrochen."
Video recorded around the same time shows firefighters on site and heavy gray sliding doors. The Governor of Beirut has confirmed that 10 firefighters are missing after the explosion
Weitere Aufnahmen der brennenden Lagerhäuser vom Dach des gegenüberliegenden Gebäudes zeigen dieselben brennenden Lagerhäuser, bevor sie in Stücke gerissen werden
A picture of the warehouse taken some time before the explosion shows the same sliding doors and white spots – albeit without writing on them – along with the seemingly exploded chemicals that were stored inside
Sahar Fares, einer der 10-köpfigen Schnellreaktionsteams, wurde während der Explosion als getötet bestätigt und seitdem in den sozialen Medien als "Braut von Beirut" bezeichnet
The ten firefighters who were the first to arrive. Alle von ihnen fehlen, einer, Sahar Fares, oben in der Mitte, als tot bestätigt. Oben von links nach rechts: Ralf Mallahi, Sarah Faris, Najib Hati. Center from left to right: Ellie Khuzami, Charbel Hati, Jo Noon, Charbel Karam. Bottom left to right: Jo Bou Saab, Methal Hawwa, Rami Kaaki
IRAK NIMMT CHEMIKALIEN NACH BEIRUT BLAST AUF
Der Irak kündigte am Donnerstag an, dass er nach der Zündung von Ammoniumnitratdünger in einem Lagerhaus am Hafen in Beirut ein Inventar aller gefährlichen Stoffe in Häfen und Flughäfen erstellen wird.
Ein Notfallkomitee unter Vorsitz des Leiters der irakischen Grenzbehörde erklärte, es sei mit der Durchführung der Arbeiten beauftragt worden und habe sich 72 Stunden Zeit genommen, um sie abzuschließen.
Das Ziel sei es, "jede Wiederholung der Ereignisse im Libanon zu vermeiden", sagte das Gremium.
Die libanesische Regierung, die bereits als inkompetent und korrupt angesehen wird, sieht sich nun erneut Protesten gegenüber, da die Politiker wütend werden, weil sie die explosiven Chemikalien nicht ordnungsgemäß gelagert haben.
Der Irak hat im vergangenen Jahr auch Massenproteste gegen ein politisches System erlebt, das auf konfessionellen Quoten basiert und als korrupt und inkompetent angesehen wird.
Die sengende Sommerhitze im Irak macht es noch anfälliger für die Gefahr versehentlicher Explosionen schlecht gelagerter Gefahrstoffe.
Die versehentliche Entzündung von Munition in Wohngebieten hat in der Vergangenheit tödliche Explosionen im Irak verursacht.
The three firefighters were photographed in an iconic image that risked their lives to prevent the disaster. Einer von ihnen, Najib Hati, hatte nicht einmal Zeit, seine Uniform anzuziehen.
Sie waren mit einer anderen Kollegin, vermutlich Frau Faris, von der Feuerwache in La Quarantaine im Nordosten Beiruts in einem Einsatzfahrzeug abgesetzt worden und waren als erste vor Ort, sagten die Feuerwehrchefs.
The six other firefighters followed in a fire truck. "As a fire brigade, we have the authority to open any door without the approval of a ministry or the military," said a fire department official who asked not to be named.
When the smoke first began to gather, we sent a unit of 10 people. Six were in the fire truck and four in the emergency vehicle. The three men in the famous photo were there first and tried to unlock the door to Camp 12.
They were followed by colleagues in the other vehicles. The explosion hit them all. Nine are still missing and one, Sahar Faris, was found and pronounced dead. Ihre Familie hat gestern hier getrauert. Your fiancé is devastated. & # 39;
Details from the picture – such as the heavy gray sliding doors and the white sign with Arabic script – could also be seen in a video taken outside the burning warehouses when a fire, believed to have been started by a welder, struck.
The video shows firefighters in uniforms similar to the one in the photo as they assess the scene without realizing the danger.
Further shots of the roof of a building across the street show identical warehouse buildings being consumed by smoke and flames, as well as similar-looking signs on the warehouse doors.
This footage can be verified as real as it has a large metal support that can be seen in Google Satellite imagery on the roof of a building across from the warehouse.
A photo taken of the warehouse some time ago shows the same gray sliding doors, tall square windows, and white signs, but without any lettering. This photo is also supposed to show sacks filled with ammonium nitrate, which caused the explosion.
The second video also shows other confirmatory details that can be seen in several footage from Beirut such as: B. small explosions of apparently fireworks just before the explosion.
This video also shows the moment the explosion happened, destroyed the warehouse, badly damaged the grain elevators opposite and sent out a shock wave that flattened nearby buildings and blew windows over the city.
The hero Methal Hawwa, front left, poses here with other firefighters in this group photo
2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the burning warehouse exploded shortly after the pictures and footage were taken, leaving little more than a water hole in the ground
The explosion sent out a shock wave that pulverized nearby warehouses (picture), tore the interiors of nearby buildings and blew out panes of glass all over the city
An aerial photo shows the devastation of the port of Beirut from the explosion, which was estimated to cost up to $ 5 billion
The explosion almost completely destroyed the port along with a grain silo (center), which represented an economic lifeline for Lebanon, which was already suffering from an economic crisis
Hafenarbeiter werden 30 Stunden, nachdem sie von der Explosion in Beirut ins Meer geblasen wurden, blutig, aber lebendig aufgefunden
Ein Mann, der gestern ins Meer geblasen wurde, als eine verheerende chemische Explosion durch die Innenstadt von Beirut raste, wurde nach 30 Stunden lebend gefunden.
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.
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
The port worker was rushed to Rafic Hariri University Hospital in Beirut after his rescue, Al-Arabiya reported.
Port of Beirut worker Amin al-Zahed
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.
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
A view of the destroyed grain silo is visible through a blown window near Beirut's port on Wednesday
Destroyed warehouses can be seen near the port area after a massive explosion in downtown Beirut
Workers remove debris from damaged buildings near an explosion that devastated central Beirut
After a massive explosion in Beirut, people are making their way through the remains of their destroyed office building
Emmanuel Macron arrived in Lebanon, a former French colony, where he met with senior officials and was taken to the site of the blast (pictured), where French rescue teams are helping with the cleanup
Mr Macron told Lebanese leaders that France would stand alongside the country, but warned that unless necessary reforms are carried out the situation will continue to deteriorate
'Lebanon was a heaven, they made it hell': Anger mounts in Beirut as activists vow anti-government protests after blast which killed at least 137
Anger is mounting against Lebanon's government following the massive blast in Beirut which has killed at least 137 people and wounded more than 5,000 as activists vowed to take to the streets as soon as the clean-up is over.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab has vowed that those responsible for the explosion – triggered when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate being stored at the port caught fire – would 'pay the price', but the blame is increasingly being turned against the political class.
Lina Daoud, 45, a resident of the Mar Mikhail which was all-but destroyed in the explosion, described politicians as 'enemies of the state', saying: 'They killed our dreams, our future. Lebanon was a heaven, they have made it hell.'
Politicians were viewed as corrupt and incompetent even before the explosion, with tens of thousands taking to the streets in demonstrations that started in October last year – and now threaten to return with fresh intensity.
But marches will have to wait, at least for now, since many activists are busy cleaning up their city, rehousing the homeless and repairing damaged buildings amid a near-total absence of state support.
A massive cleanup operation is underway in Beirut after a massive explosion at the port levelled the surrounding neighbourhoods and left half of city's buildings with damage
An army of volunteers have taken to the streets to sweep up glass, clear away rubble, rehouse the homeless and repair buildings amid a near-total absence of state support
Activists have vowed to restart anti-government protests which have been ongoing since last year, once they have finished cleaning up a city that was once known as the Paris of the Middle East
People donate items of clothing, water and food in Martyrs Square in Beirut in an attempt to help those who were injured and left homeless following the huge explosion
Youth volunteers inspect damage to buildings in neighbourhoods close to the site of the blast, triggered when a warehouse filled with 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate caught fire
'What state?' scoffed 42-year-old Melissa Fadlallah, a volunteer cleaning up the hard-hit Mar Mikhail district of the Lebanese capital.
The explosion, which hit just a few hundred metres (yards) away at Beirut's port, blew all the windows and doors off Mar Mikhail's pubs, restaurants and apartment homes on Tuesday.
By Wednesday, a spontaneous cleanup operation was underway there, a glimmer of youthful solidarity and hope after a devastating night.
Wearing plastic gloves and a mask, Fadlallah tossed a shard of glass as long as her arm at the door of the state electricity company's administrative building that looms over the district.
'For me, this state is a dump – and on behalf of yesterday's victims, the dump that killed them is going to stay a dump,' she told AFP.
The blast killed more than 110 people, wounded thousands and compounded public anger that erupted in protests last year against a government seen as corrupt and inefficient.
Volunteers help remove fridges from a destroyed store as a massive cleanup operation gets underway in Beirut
A young man armed with a broom and a rake walks down a destroyed street in Beirut, amid a massive cleanup operation
Military personnel stand amid debris from nearby structures, caused by an explosion at Beirut's port late on Tuesday
'We're trying to fix this country. We've been trying to fix it for nine months but now we're going to do it our way,' said Fadlallah.
'If we had a real state, it would have been in the street since last night cleaning and working. Where are they?'
A few civil defence workers could be seen examining building structures but they were vastly outnumbered by young volunteers flooding the streets to help.
In small groups, they energetically swept up glass beneath blown-out buildings, dragging them into plastic bags.
Others clambered up debris-strewn stairwells to offer their homes to residents who had spent the previous night in the open air.
'We're sending people into the damaged homes of the elderly and handicapped to help them find a home for tonight,' said Husam Abu Nasr, a 30-year-old volunteer.
Macron's moment amid cheering crowds in devastated Beirut
White shirt sleeves rolled up, Emmanuel Macron waded through cheering crowds in the devastated streets of Beirut earlier today where disaster survivors pleaded with him to help get rid of their reviled ruling elite.
Doing what no senior Lebanese leader had done since the deadly explosion at Beirut port two days earlier, the French president allowed himself to be thronged by residents of one of the capital's worst-hit neighbourhoods.
Dozens of people chanting 'revolution' and pleading with him for help pressed against his phalanx of bodyguards as he walked through the Gemmayzeh area for around 45 minutes.
White shirt sleeves rolled up, Emmanuel Macron waded through cheering crowds in the devastated streets of Beirut earlier today where disaster survivors pleaded with him to help get rid of their reviled ruling elite
Long simmering anger against Lebanon's leaders has flared since the blast, which appears to have been caused by negligence and is widely seen as the most tragic manifestation yet of the corruption and incompetence of the ruling class.
Some welcomed Macron like a saviour, while only a few heckled him, arguing that his mere presence in Lebanon would only serve to legitimise a political system they want to kick out wholesale.
'Help us, you are our only hope,' one well-wisher shouted as Macron stopped to meet residents, while neighbours applauded from flats with broken windows and crumbling balconies.
A woman wearing a face mask and heavy duty gloves cut through the crowd to catch the attention of the French head of state before clenching his hands firmly to make an impassioned plea for help.
Under the nervous gaze of his suited bodyguards, Macron hugged her in a prolonged embrace that triggered wild cheers from the crowd.
Throughout the dramatic walkabout, Macron appeared to savour the moment. His moment.
Doing what no senior Lebanese leader had done since the deadly explosion at Beirut port two days earlier, the French president (pictured waving centre) allowed himself to be thronged by residents of one of the capital's worst-hit neighbourhoods
The scene was reminiscent of Jacques Chirac's legendary 1996 walk through the Old City of Jerusalem, a moment that came to define his style as a president and contributed greatly to his popularity.
'My home in Gemmayzeh has vanished and the first person to pay me a visit is a foreign president,' well-known actor Ziad Itani wrote on social media, telling Lebanese leaders: 'Shame on you.'
'It seems this is more than a visit. What's happening on the streets of Gemmayzeh is historical.'
Clamouring around Macron, people chanted slogans made popular during the country's October popular uprising, launching insults at the political leaders he was to meet hours later.
Macron, when pressed by residents – some bearing the bandaged wounds of the cataclysmic explosion that disfigured their neighbourhood – vowed to be tough and push for reforms.
'I understand your anger. I am not here to endorse … the regime,' Macron assured the crowd. 'It is my duty to help you as a people, to bring you medicine and food.'
Some welcomed Macron like a saviour, while only a few heckled him, arguing that his mere presence in Lebanon would only serve to legitimise a political system they want to kick out wholesale
One woman implored Macron to keep French financial assistance out of the reach of Lebanese officials, accused by many Lebanese of rampant graft and greed.
'I guarantee you that this aid will not fall into corrupt hands,' Macron said.
He promised to pitch a 'new political deal' to the country's leaders, and to press them to deliver sweeping change.
'I am going to talk to them … I will hold them accountable,' Macron said before getting into a black limousine headed for the presidential palace.
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