Rescue crews detect potential survivor amid rubble of Beirut explosion

Damage and debris are seen in the downtown region following a massive explosion in the port, in Beirut, Lebanon. File Photo by Mustafa Jamaleddine/UPI

Sept. 4 (UPI) — Crews in Beirut are searching for a potential survivor from last month’s port explosion after a rescue dog detected signs of life beneath rubble from the blast.

Thermal imaging cameras detected a large body as well as a smaller one beneath the debris that showed signs of life including a faint pulse. It’s been 29 days since the explosion killed nearly 200 people and injured about 6,500 more.

“The team arrived 10 days ago. Yesterday, walking in this street with the dog, and the dog said ‘what?!'” Francisco Lermanda, head of the Chilean Rescue team, said. “This life-locating equipment detected breathing. It was detecting 15 breaths per minute. I think it’s a person in a coma state, breathing slowly.”

Rescue teams called off the search for the night, saying they did not have the cranes needed to lift the rubble in the area and expressed concern that buildings in the area might collapse.

The blast occurred Aug. 4 after more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate being stored at a port in the Lebanese capital city detonated by a fire.

On Thursday, four containers with more than 4 tons of ammonium nitrate were found outside Beirut’s seaport.

Last month, an explosives manufacturing company from Mozambique said that it had originally ordered the 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate involved in the explosion but the order never arrived after remaining in a container at the port for six years.


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