Rescuers in the Lebanese capital have begun work on a bid to determine if there is a person trapped under the building’s debris. Collapsed after a fatal explosion a month ago.
A month later The city was devastated by a massive explosion at the port of Beirut, After hopes of success had dwindled just a day earlier, the search for potential survivors entered its third day on Saturday.
Chilean rescue workers said Thursday they had found signs of life beneath the rubble of a collapsed building in the Gemmais neighborhood. A sniffer dog named Flash – brought to Beirut by Chilean rescuers – was the first person to respond to the scent on the spot.
Electronic sensors were then brought in to investigate the area and indications were found that someone was trapped below.
Beirut Blast: In Chaos
Chilean volunteers are part of a Mexican rescue non-profit called “Los Topos” and are assisted by Lebanese civil defense volunteers.
Francisco Lermanda, leader of Chile’s “Topos” rescue team, who is leading the search effort, told reporters Friday evening that he could not confirm or deny that anyone was alive under the huge pg of debris.
“We have to reach three meters, that’s where we got the signal,” he said.
He added that audio dio equipment detects what appears to be poor breathing – initially 18 to 20 breaths per minute – and experts told him it indicates that the person may be about three meters deep.
Lermanda said the excavation crew were tunneling to the site from several directions and have reached a depth of 1.2 meters so far.
‘Don’t give up’
Lebanese engineer Riyad al-Assad, who is helping the Chilean team, said on Friday that the team conducted a test between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm local time but they did not hear anything, they repeated it at 8:30 pm and again The same result “.
Al-Assad said the Chilean team had been working 48 hours non-stop since work was halted late Friday night.
Al Jazeera’s Zina Khodre, reporting from Beirut, said the Chileans had “decided not to give up.”
Khodre said some people believe in the inability to determine if there is someone trapped under the goods because there were many people in the area on Friday night, many of whom were using mobile phones that were “jamming” the rescue team’s devices.
“Not long ago, they used laser scanners,” he said. “The Chilean team is not giving up,” he said.
According to Khodar, people are “angry” and are questioning why local authorities have not cleared the debris even a month after the blast.
“The obvious thing is that the government is not present,” he said. “They have been absent in rescue efforts, in relief efforts as well as in rebuilding efforts.”
Friday marked a month after a devastating explosion in Lebanon on August 4, in which about 200 people were killed. People, 6,000 others were injured and left the country in a state of shock, suffering from a severe economic crisis.
People gathered in Beirut on Friday to wake up and pray. Lebanese troops stood at the port for a minute in silence, along with family members who lost loved ones in the blast.
At another event near the blast site, white roses were distributed to the families of the dead and wounded, and prayers were offered by religious leaders representing major sects in Lebanon.
A minute’s silence was also observed by passers-by near the port, when traffic was stopped at exactly 6: 07 (15:07 GMT) – at which time a blast occurred.
The accident was caused by ammonium nitrate which was poorly stored in the port warehouse.
Al Jazeera and news agencies
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