Rescue teams from Russia have begun their search operations at the ruins left by two massive explosions in Lebanon’s capital Beirut, while survivors seek medical care in newly set-up emergency hospital tents.
Teams of Russian relief workers and their search dogs arrived in Beirut on Friday and quickly started looking for any survivors trapped under the enormous grain silos near the port, at the very epicenter of the blasts. The corn-filled silo – which sustained severe damage – has been credited with shielding some of the nearby area from the worst of the explosions.
Speaking to RT’s Igor Zhdanov, the rescuers pledged that if there’s any possibility of finding somebody alive at the disaster site, they are prepared to work overnight.
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A sizable field hospital has also been set up by the Russian contingent to ease the burden of the city’s already overcrowded hospitals.
“I am very, extremely lucky to be alive,” exclaimed one of the survivors, whose face appeared to be seriously injured by the blasts. “I can’t forget the explosion, the sound, the visuals.”
“I literally saw body parts of people thrown at the main road, I saw a hand, I saw two legs,” he recalled when speaking to Zhdanov, before needing a break from his raw recollections of the tragedy as it unfolded around him.
The Russian hospital complex looks like a little tent town, erected overnight on a previously empty lot. An expansion of the site is planned, as around 5,000 people have reportedly been injured in the explosions and Beirut’s health services have been swamped by the sheer volume of wounded.
The double Beirut explosion killed at least 154 people and left 300,000 homeless, according to officials. The scarred city is now reminiscent of an active war zone and seems to be only coming to after having been physically and financially broken.
“Of all places that I’ve ever been to, apart from active warzones,” Zhdanov said while surveying the destruction, Beirut after the blasts “resembles a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie the most.”
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