The 64 members and eight search dogs of the Dutch search and rescue team arrived in Beirut on the night of Wednesday to Thursday. With the help of detection dogs, they go there to search for people or human remains under the rubble, caused by the huge explosion on Tuesday in the port of the Lebanese capital.

The Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) departed on Wednesday evening with a passenger plane from Eindhoven Air Base and landed at Beirut International Airport at about 1.15 am. A cargo plane carrying eight detection dogs and 18 tons of rescue equipment had already arrived in Lebanon a few hours earlier.

The death toll from the explosion rose to 135 on Wednesday, with approximately five thousand injured registered. However, dozens of people are still missing. The presumption is that many are still under the rubble.

The Dutch rescuers, consisting of police and firefighters, trauma doctors and nurses, form four rescue teams. They will collaborate with a French team. After a briefing, it is planned that the Dutch will start working on the partly destroyed city on Thursday morning.

Grapperhaus wishes team good luck

The cabinet ordered USAR to go to Beirut on Wednesday after Lebanon asked the world for help after the disaster. Minister Ferd Grapperhaus (Justice and Security) wished the members of the team good luck before they left to find, rescue and nurse the injured people of the explosion.

The USAR was previously active after the severe earthquake in Nepal in 2015. In and around the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, the team also searched for survivors with tracking dogs.

See also: Aid worker in Beirut: 'City literally and figuratively touched at heart'