China News Service, August 7 reported that the Beirut explosion in Lebanon has caused thousands of deaths and injuries, and the direct and indirect losses may be as high as 15 billion US dollars. At present, the rescue operation is still in progress. Rescuers said there was a "great chance" to find survivors. At the same time, the Lebanese government has launched an investigation into the explosion, and the investigation committee was required to submit a report within 4 days. Some official sources blamed the incident on "inaction and negligence."
On August 5, local time, after the Beirut port exploded, only one wall was left in a wheat warehouse originally built at the port.
137 people died! $15 billion loss?
Lebanon struggling through the ruins
According to the latest data from the Lebanese Ministry of Health, the explosion in the Beirut port area has caused at least 137 deaths and approximately 5,000 injuries. As search and rescue operations continue, the number of deaths may rise further.
Citizens of many countries were also injured or killed in the explosion. The US State Department said that one American citizen was killed and several others were injured. A staff member of the German Embassy in Beirut also died in the explosion. Citizens of Australia, the Philippines and Bangladesh were killed in the bombing.
This catastrophic event also had a huge impact on Lebanon’s economy and society. Beirut Governor Abd said the damage caused by the explosion may exceed the previously announced US$5 billion, reaching US$15 billion.
Faced with many problems such as the bombing of granaries and the obstruction of port freight, Lebanon’s Minister of Economy Nehem stated on the 6th that the country does not have the economic capacity to deal with the consequences of the explosion independently, and the solution will be cooperation with the International Monetary Fund.
According to reports, Lebanon was once the economic and financial center of the Middle East, with banking, shipping, tourism, education, and press and publishing industries among the best in the Middle East. The capital Beirut is known as the "Little Paris in the Middle East". After 15 years of civil war, Lebanon's dominant position has basically been lost, coupled with the severe deterioration of the economic situation in recent years, the heavy debt burden, and the domestic people's livelihood can be described as difficult.
The picture shows rescuers searching for survivors in a damaged building.
Golden 72 hours! Search and rescue survivors in the rubble
French President Macron went to the explosion site to show support
At present, search and rescue work is still in progress against time. On the 5th, the Lebanese government announced a two-week state of emergency in Beirut and handed over security control to the army. A large area around the explosion site was sealed off. The army and rescuers continued to search for survivors under the rubble, and ships searched in coastal waters.
Search and rescue personnel believe that there is a "great chance" of finding survivors. Earhart, the operational director of the German Federal Technical Rescue Agency (THW), said that normally, the chances of finding a survivor within 72 hours after a disaster are high.
However, due to power shortages, the overnight rescue work encountered considerable obstacles. In addition, Lebanese Minister of Public Health Hassan said that the Lebanese health department lacks beds and the equipment needed to treat the wounded and care for critically ill patients.
According to reports, the St. George’s Hospital near the explosion site was severely damaged and several staff members were killed. According to the WHO, three hospitals in Beirut were closed, and two hospitals were only partially operating.
Data map: French President Macron.
In order to help the hard-hit Lebanon, many countries are also urgently mobilizing personnel and materials for emergency assistance.
French President Macron arrived in Lebanon on the 6th and went to the explosion site to understand the situation. Macron said, "I want to organize European cooperation, and more broadly, international cooperation." France has sent two planes carrying experts, rescuers and supplies to Beirut.
The Press Service of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations stated on the 6th that experts from the Ministry have deployed a mobile hospital for the Central Air Rescue Team in Beirut, equipped with rescue rooms and surgical rooms. The team from the Moscow Institute of Pediatric Surgery Emergency Surgery and Trauma Research Institute was also sent to Beirut to provide medical assistance to the injured.
The European Union has assembled emergency rescuers and equipment, and dispatched more than 100 firefighters, equipped with vehicles and sniffer dogs. Iraq has sent six trucks of medical supplies and an emergency medical team, and Egypt and Jordan are providing supplies for field hospitals.
On August 5, local time, debris was scattered on the floor of the Lebanese Parliament Hall in the central area of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.
"Inaction and negligence" lead to tragic tragedy?
Lebanese government sets up an investigation team
At the same time, people are also searching for answers-what is the cause of the explosion? Who is responsible for this?
In this regard, the Lebanese government has established an investigation committee to investigate. Lebanese Foreign Minister Webbe said on the 6th that the government gave the "Investigation Committee" four days to determine responsibility for the bombing.
Webbe said, "This morning, it has been decided to set up an investigation committee. A detailed report on responsibilities must be provided within four days at most-what happened, who, what, where? There will be a judicial decision."
Data map: On-site inspection by Lebanese President Aoun after the explosion (middle).
Earlier, sources in the Lebanese Ministry of Interior stated that the government had ordered port officials to be placed under house arrest.
Several Lebanese government officials said the explosion may have been caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a port warehouse. Lebanese President Aoun said on the 4th that this part of ammonium nitrate was stored in a port warehouse for 6 years and lacked safety measures, which was “unacceptable”.
Some media reported that the explosion may be related to sparks splashing during welding operations near the container.
According to Reuters, an official source familiar with the preliminary investigation attributed the incident to "inaction and negligence", saying that "no measures were taken" to remove harmful substances.