When the first footage hit social media, showing a blast tearing through the Lebanese capital of Beirut, it resembled something out of a Hollywood blockbuster.
Filmed from vantage points across the city, the explosion was first seen, before the roaring noise and impact shattered windows and flattened buildings, leaving destruction in its wake.
In the days that followed, another remarkable video came to light, from 29-year-old Dr. Israa Seblani’s wedding shoot, where, thankfully, nobody was seriously hurt.
Now, with the dust settled and an enraged country seeking answers as to how this gross and dangerous negligence was allowed, CCTV footage is slowly emerging, showing the moment of impact from a new perspective.
This comes from St George’s University Medical Centre:
This is from the same hospital, with additional footage:
This comes from the Lau Medical Center-Rizk hospital:
Here’s the blast below, as seen from CCTV footage inside of a furniture store:
The death toll stated above is out of date, and has sadly risen to an estimated 180 people, with a further 6 000 injured.
30 people are still missing, with the damage estimated to cost around $20 billion.
A Channel 4 feature from earlier in the week details how this avoidable tragedy came to be:
The catastrophic blast was caused by nearly 3,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate carelessly stored in warehouse.
But how come huge amounts of explosive chemicals are left lying around for six years in a busy, working port? It’s not a question of ‘find the guilty men’, the whole Lebanese system is based on corruption, nepotism and negligence.
For many Lebanese, this is the final straw.
They’ve been protesting against the government since last autumn, furious about the way the country is run by factions who divide power amongst themselves, and who have led Lebanon into a devastating economic crisis.
This is a country on the brink of collapse. So what’s gone so badly wrong for Lebanon?
Here’s that Channel 4 feature:
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