Beirut blast: Man pulled from rubble after 10 hours as dozens still missing

5 August 2020, 15:41

The man, whose name is unknown, was pulled from the rubble after ten hours
The man, whose name is unknown, was pulled from the rubble after ten hours. Picture: AP

By Ewan Somerville

A man has been pulled from rubble of the Beirut explosion more than 10 hours after the blast decimated countless buildings.

Crowds cheered “Issam is alive” as the unnamed wounded man, covered in dust and dirt, was carried on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance. 

He was one of more than 4,000 injured in the blast, along with at least 100 killed. Families have launched frantic searches for more than 100 others still missing. 

Many people spent the night dashing between hospitals, desperate for any news about missing loved ones, while others have launched appeals on social media.

The man was retrieved by rescuers
The man was retrieved by rescuers. Picture: AP

The entire city was shaken by the explosion just after 6pm on Tuesday in the port. A mushroom cloud could be seen spreading over the port area. 

Experts called it one of the largest peacetime blasts ever, carrying the force of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, and it could be heard from Cyprus, 150 miles away. 

President Michel Aoun said the blast was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, an explosive fertiliser, stored unsafely for years in a warehouse.

READ MORE: Lebanon in mourning as 100 killed and 4,000 injured in blast

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President Aoun announced three days of mourning which started on Wednesday. Opening an emergency cabinet meeting, he said: "No words can describe the horror that has hit Beirut last night, turning it into a disaster-stricken city".

"Amid last night's smoke, flames and destruction, I would like to laud the zeal of the Lebanese who rushed to the blast location and perimeter and the hospitals to offer support and assistance," he added.