A tragic photo has been taken showing the last moments of firefighters sent to fight a fire in Camp 12 in Beirut's port before the chemicals inside it exploded with the power of a small nuclear weapon and killed at least 137 people.
The picture verified by MailOnline shows firefighters trying to open the lock on a door under a sign that says "Entrance 12" and signs warning of dangerous chemicals inside.
The person who took the photo was confirmed dead with the photo found on his phone, while the governor of Beirut said so After the explosion, 10 firefighters are missing, who were triggered when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the warehouse caught fire.
The picture was widely distributed on Arabic-language Twitter accounts on Wednesday as people pay tribute to firefighters who are believed to have died.
Jo Noon, Methal Hawwa and Najib Hati were part of a 10-person rapid response team. Nine of them are still missing while a colleague, 25-year-old Sahar Faris, was declared dead.
Ms. Faris, who has since been referred to as the “bride of Beirut” on social media, was engaged to get married in June next year. Yesterday, her fiancé Gilbert Karaan published a tribute saying, "You broke my back, you broke my heart."
A picture has surfaced on social media showing the last moments of a fire department sent to fight a fire in camps in Beirut's harbor just before the chemicals inside it exploded with the power of a small nuclear weapon
Video recorded around the same time shows firefighters on site as well as heavy gray sliding doors. The governor of Beirut confirmed that 10 firefighters will be missing after the explosion
Further shots of the burning warehouses from the roof of the building opposite show the same burning warehouses before being torn to pieces
A picture of the camp taken some time before the explosion shows the same sliding doors and white spots – but without writing on them – along with the apparently exploded chemicals that were stored inside
Sahar Fares, one of the 10-person rapid response teams, was confirmed dead during the explosion and has since been referred to as the "bride of Beirut" on social media
The ten firefighters who were the first to arrive. All of them are missing, one, Sahar Fares, in the top center, confirmed dead. Top left to right: Ralf Mallahi, Sarah Faris, Najib Hati. Middle from left to right: Ellie Khuzami, Charbel Hati, Jo Noon, Charbel Karam. Bottom left to right: Jo Bou Saab, Methal Hawwa, Rami Kaaki
The picture was created as …
- Emmanuel Macron arrived in Lebanon, a former French colony, where he met with President Michel Aoun and visited the disaster site
- French rescue teams who are helping to recover said that there was a good chance of finding survivors
- Lebanese officials gave a committee of inquiry only four days to identify the culprits given the widespread anger against the government
- Prince Charles and his wife Camilla sent a warm letter to the President of Lebanon outlining "thoughts and special prayers in this desperately sad time."
- Britain sent a Royal Navy ship to Beirut to help the city recover, along with a £ 5m package for humanitarian aid and search and rescue teams
- It was found that the camp was not examined until last December after a strange smell came from it. A report concluded that the "dangerous" chemicals should be moved
- Governor of Beirut, Marwan Abboud, said the losses from the explosion are estimated to be up to $ 15 billion
The three firefighters were photographed in an iconic picture that was jeopardizing their lives to prevent the disaster. One of them, Najib Hati, didn't even have time to put on his uniform.
The fire chiefs said they had been dropped off in an emergency vehicle with another colleague, probably Ms. Faris, by the fire station in La Quarantaine in north-east Beirut, and were the first to be there.
The six other firefighters followed in a fire engine. "As a fire department, we have the authority to open any door without the consent of a ministry or military," said a fire officer who asked not to be named.
When the smoke gathered for the first time, we sent a unit of 10 people. Six were in the fire engine 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 declared dead. Your family mourned here yesterday. Her fiance 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 that was taken outside the burning warehouse when a fire that was probably started by a welder started.
The video shows firefighters in similar uniforms as in the photo while assessing the scene without being aware of the danger.
Further pictures from the roof of a building across the street show identical warehouse buildings that are 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 opposite the warehouse.
A photo taken some time ago by the warehouse shows the same gray sliding doors, tall square windows and white signs, but without the lettering. This photo is also said to show sacks filled with ammonium nitrate that caused the explosion.
The second video also shows other confirmatory details that can be seen in several Beirut footage, such as: B. Small explosions of seemingly fireworks just before the explosion.
This video also shows the moment when the explosion happened, destroyed the warehouse, severely damaged the grain silos opposite, and sent out a shock wave that flattened nearby buildings and blown 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 a shock wave that pulverized nearby warehouses (picture), tore up the interior of nearby buildings, and blew glass panes all over the city
An aerial photo shows the devastation of the port of Beirut by the explosion at an estimated cost of up to $ 5 billion
The explosion almost completely destroyed the port together with a grain silo (center photo), which was an economic lifeline for Lebanon, which was already suffering from an economic crisis
At least 5,000 people were injured in the explosion. 300,000 people have been made homeless and are estimated to cause damage of up to $ 5 billion. Half of the buildings in Beirut were affected.
The explosion threatens to re-launch anti-government protests in Lebanon that have lasted for alleged incompetence and corruption since last year.
Emmanuel Macron offered France support for the Lebanese people when he visited Beirut on Thursday, but warned that if his leaders failed to implement reforms, the country would "go down".
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 been pushing for reform as the financial crisis in the Middle East has deepened.
IRAQ TAKES CHEMICALS AFTER BEIRUT BLAST
Iraq announced on Thursday that after the ammonium nitrate fertilizer was ignited in a warehouse at the port in Beirut, it would create an inventory of all hazardous substances in ports and airports.
An emergency committee chaired by the head of the Iraqi border agency said it had been tasked with the work and had taken 72 hours to complete.
The goal is to "avoid repeating events in Lebanon," the panel said.
The Lebanese government, which is already seen as incompetent and corrupt, is now facing protests again as politicians get angry because they have not properly stored the explosive chemicals.
Iraq has also seen mass protests last year against a denominational-based political system that is viewed as corrupt and incompetent.
The scorching summer heat in Iraq makes it even more susceptible to the risk of accidental explosions of poorly stored hazardous substances.
Accidental ignition of ammunition in residential areas has caused fatal explosions in Iraq in the past.
After landing in Beirut, Macron said that France's solidarity with the Lebanese people was unconditional, but he wanted to tell political figures some "home truths".
"Beyond the explosion, we know that the crisis here is serious and brings with it the historic responsibility of leading politicians," Macron told reporters.
"We cannot do without mutual truths," he added. "If no reforms are implemented, Lebanon will continue to decline."
Lebanon has placed any official responsible for the safety of Beirut's port in the past six years under house arrest as it investigates a massive explosion that has devastated the city.
The country's political leaders vowed that those responsible for the tragedy would "pay the price," but the customs officials dismissed their school finger and said they had been repeatedly warned of the danger but had failed to act.
The Russian businessman Igor Grechushkin reportedly abandoned the dangerous cargo in September 2013 before finally being taken to the port, where it remained for six years.
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.
A fire started in Camp 9 on Tuesday evening before spreading to Camp 12, where the chemicals were stored, ignited and caused the explosion.
Raghida Dergham from the Beiruter Institute said yesterday: “The storage of ammonium nitrate in a civilian port is a crime against humanity that must not go unpunished.
& # 39; convictions are not enough. I'm sure, but devastated. I have lost friends. I have lost my apartment. If I had been home, I would have lost my life. & # 39;
An official source familiar with preliminary investigations blamed the incident for negligence. Lebanese citizens have angered politicians who have monitored decades of state corruption and poor governance and plunged the nation into a financial crisis.
Lebanese Customs Director General Badri therefore said the country's judiciary had been informed six times about the dangerous chemicals stored in a warehouse in the Lebanese capital.
Customs officials are believed to have asked the authorities to remove the hazardous substance from Hangar 12 because they believe it exists for the city and will be handed over to the army or sold to an explosives company.
& # 39; We asked that it be exported again, but that did not happen. We leave it up to the experts and those affected to determine why, ”therefore said.
Another source near a port employee said a team that inspected the ammonium nitrate six months ago had warned that if it were not moved, it would "blow up all of Beirut".
Prime Minister Hassan Diab vowed those responsible to "pay the price" when he declared the two-week state of emergency to deal with the crisis, and urged all leaders to "help Lebanon" and added added: "We are experiencing a real disaster. & # 39;
A view of the destroyed grain silo is visible through a blown-out window near Beirut's harbor 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 site that devastated the center of Beirut
After a massive explosion in Beirut, people make their way through the remains of their destroyed office building
Emmanuel Macron arrived in Lebanon, a former French colony, where he met with President Michel Aoun (right) and was taken to the site of the bombing, where French rescue workers support the recovery efforts
Documents published online indicated that they could be handed over to the army or sold to an explosives company, but received no answers, so that the explosive load languished in the now destroyed port area of the capital.
Ammonium nitrate is a chemical that is used in fertilizer bombs and is widely used in the construction industry, but also by insurgent groups such as the Taliban and the IRA for improvised explosives.
The authorities 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 money crisis have raised fears of shortages.
Two aircraft loads of French rescue workers and relief supplies were sent to Beirut, and Macron was due to arrive on Thursday to support 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 care, humanitarian aid, and search and rescue teams.
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