Lebanon, a massive explosion in Beirut, killed more than 100 people, wounded more than 4,000 and left an estimated 300,00 homeless. Unfortunately, as more information is made available, some early reports of the wounded and the deceased are likely to increase in the coming days.
Lebanon ‘s chief of general security Abbas Ibrahim says “high explosive materials” triggered the explosion that occurred in the port area of the city. It is suspected that a warehouse fire ignited 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored nearby.
Lebanese officials state an African-bound ship seized the ammonium nitrate from in 2013.
Photojournalist Bilal Jawich took one of the most compelling early photographs of human endurance in the face of disaster in the suburbs of Beirut, at Al Roum hospital. He caught the image of a nurse carrying three newborn babies wearing their scrubs and masks.
The nurse had been surrounded by scores of bodies injured or killed in the explosion, according to a CNN photographer. The unidentified nurse told Jawich that she was in the maternity ward when the blast struck, and that it left her unconscious.
When she woke up, she “found herself carrying these three children,” said.
“I was amazed when I saw the nurse holding three newborns,” Jawich told CNN. “I noticed the nurse’s calm, which contrasted the surrounding atmosphere just one meter away.”
“However, the nurse looked like she possessed a hidden force that gave her self-control and the ability to save those children. People stand out amidst these violent and dark and evil circumstances and this nurse was up to the task,” he added.
Jawich revealed that he has covered “lots of wars” throughout the years as a photographer but has never seen anything like the devastation in Beirut.