The blast of nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate tore through the Lebanese capital on August 4, killing 190 people and injured more than 6,000 and leaving more than 300,000 displaced from their homes. The blast destroyed much of Beirut’s eastern coastal area.
Though, Lebanon lacks the tools and expertise needed to deal with such critical condition so they have been supported by experts from Chile, France and the Unites States.
The Chilean team, Topos, said that on Wednesday night their search dog and sensors had detected signs of life in the rubble of a destroyed building in eastern Beirut. It was an announcement that drew crowds of volunteers, solidarity demonstrators as well as local and international press coverage.
On Thursday, a sensor machine detected possible signs of life but unfortunately even after clearing 95% of the rubble, the rescue team has found nothing.
On Saturday evening, The rescue team announced that they haven’t found a single sign of life after three days of search “Unfortunately, today, we can say there’s no sign of life inside of the building,” Francisco Lermanda, the head of Topos, a Chilean rescue team, told reporters at a news conference.
A lot of people wished that there would be some positive outcomes of the search and some think that it is indeed a happy ending. Melissa Fathallah, an activist and founder of Baytna Baytak, in an initiative to house Lebanese health workers during the Covid-19 crisis said, “Did we really want to add another name to the list of people who unfortunately died in this? I look at it as a positive thing because we didn’t have to add one more name. We didn’t have to find another missing person.”
However, One month on, Seven People are still missing after the Beirut Blast.
“We didn’t stop until we exhausted every single option, and there wasn’t even a 0.01% chance of anyone being down there,” said Fathallah.
“We detected breathing around 3 a.m., an exhalation. But after checking the area we realized that that exhalation was from our own rescue workers that had entered the first floor hours earlier. The device is very sensitive, therefore the minimal exhalation will be detected,” Lermanda said on Saturday evening.
In a news conference on Saturday, Francisco Lermanda, head of volunteer rescue group Topos Chile, said: “Technically speaking, there are no signs of life.”
Notably, On August 4, Explosion at the port of Beirut killed more than 190 people making it biggest disaster Beirut ever faced.