Several Staffers of Foreign Embassies Injured in Beirut Explosion
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:43
Several Staffers of Foreign Embassies Injured in Beirut Explosion
TEHRAN (FNA)- Several staffers of foreign missions in Beirut were injured in the Tuesday huge explosion which has killed at least 100 and wounded over 5,000 people.

Staff at the UK embassy in Beirut suffered injuries in the huge blast that rocked the Lebanese capital on Tuesday. A Foreign Office spokesperson said that a small number of staff sustained non-life threatening injuries in the explosion and are receiving medical attention where necessary.

Members of staff at Germany’s embassy in Beirut were also hurt in the explosion, the country’s foreign ministry confirmed. ‘We’re shocked by the photos from Beirut. Colleagues at our embassy are also among the wounded,’ the embassy said in a message on Twitter.

Five staffers of the Dutch Embassy in Lebanon were injured in the dramatic explosion in the port of Beirut, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said.

According to Dutch media reports, only one of all those wounded sustained serious injuries.

At least one Australian was killed and the Australian embassy in Beirut "considerably" damaged by a huge blast in Lebanon's capital.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia's embassy had been "impacted significantly" by the explosion that sent shockwaves across the city, shattering windows, blowing in doors, over-turning cars and smashing masonry.

Meantime, two Filipinos were killed in powerful explosions that hit the Port of Beirut in Lebanon, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed Wednesday.

In an online briefing, DFA Undersecretary Sarah Arriola disclosed that the two additional Filipinos injured were seafarers aboard a ship that was docked 400 meters away from the explosion’s location.

The two seafarers are among the 13 who jumped from their ship after the explosion took place, Arriola said.

A Chinese national sustained a slight injury after a massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut, the Chinese Embassy in the country said on Wednesday.

An Indonesian citizen was also injured in the huge explosions in Lebanon's capital of Beirut, the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the ministry, the Indonesian embassy in Beirut has managed to contact the victim who is now in a stable condition and able to communicate.

Meantime, the UN said Tuesday that "several" of its employees were injured when the massive explosion rocked Lebanon’s capital,.  

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for Secretary General Antonio Guterres, did not specify the number of injured personnel or in what capacity they work for the UN. But the international body runs myriad programs in the Mediterranean country, including refugee aid and a peacekeeping force in the country's South.

A massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 100 people, wounding over 5,000 more, and smashing a vast area.

Terrifying footage showed a huge mushroom cloud of fire and smoke covering much of Beirut’s port area, blowing out windows and destroying buildings in the neighborhood, as a warehouse at the Beirut docks caught fire on Tuesday afternoon.

Photos on social media showed many buildings in the area damaged or destroyed, leaving residents covered in glass and blood.

Several smaller explosions were heard before the bigger one occurred and turned the city’s streets into a debris-strewn wasteland.

In addition to local authorities, more than 30 Red Cross teams are responding at the scene of the blast.

Health Minister Hamad Hassan blamed the explosion on a fireworks accident, ordering all hospitals in Beirut to prepare for the victims of the incident.

Head of the Lebanese Red Cross George Kettaneh also stated that hundreds of injured people were taken to hospital for treatment, while some still remain trapped in their homes.

Hotel Dieu Hospital in Beirut reported it was treating more than 500 injuries and was not able to receive more. Tens of injured needed operations, the hospital said appealing for blood donations. Rizq Hospital also said that it has admitted 400 wounded people.

The health ministry said all Beirut hospitals are overcrowded with those injured in the incident and can no more accommodate anyone.

Yet, the health minister told Lebanon's LBC News that hundreds are feared dead and thousands have been wounded in the blast. He added that the death toll now stands at over 100.

The Lebanese Red Cross also declared that over 5,000 people have been wounded in the incident, while the numbers are still expected to rise. It added that over 100 dead bodies have been collected from the scene of the incident so far.

Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud called it a "national catastrophe" and Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared a day of mourning.

“It resembles to what happened in Japan, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That’s what [it] reminds me of. In my life, I haven’t seen destruction on this scale," Abboud added.

Badri Zaher, Director General of the Lebanese Customs House, declared that dozens of tons of nitrate had exploded in the port of Beirut.

Lebanese General Security Director Abbas Ibrahim also dismissed rumors of Israeli involvement, noting that a large cache of highly explosive sodium nitrate was stored at the site, after being confiscated off a ship several months ago. But he did not explain how the fire has started.

Early reports said a short-circuit has likely sparked fire at the warehouse where the huge sodium nitrate cargo was kept and fire later spread to an adjacent warehouse where a huge cargo of fireworks was stored.

Yet, there is still no official report on the exact cause of the blast, while a UN spokesperson told reporters that his organization is still unsure whether the explosion was "an accidental or man-made act".

Later, the Israeli Defense Force denied responsibility for the massive explosions in Beirut. Hezbollah has also denied the blasts were the result of a rocket attack.





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