Rescue workers dig through the rubble of a building in Beirut for a third day, saying that there is no longer any hope of finding a person alive more than a month after a massive explosion in the port destroyed the Lebanese capital.
the main points:
- The sensors detected signs of breathing and heat, but they were from the rescuers inside
- Efforts are now focused on clearing the rubble and finding remains
- The blast, which occurred last month, killed around 190 people and injured 6,000 others
About 50 rescue workers and volunteers, including a specialized team from Chile, worked for three days to identify potential survivors after sensors on Thursday detected signs of breathing and heat.
“Technically speaking, there are no signs of life,” Francisco Lermanda, head of volunteer rescue group Tobos Chile, told a news conference Saturday evening, adding that rescuers had combed 95 percent of the building.
Lermanda said that signs of life uncovered in the past two days were fellow rescuers breathing inside the building, picked up by their sensitive equipment.
He said efforts will now focus on clearing the rubble and finding the remains.
“We never stop at 1 percent of hope,” Lermanda said, about finding a body.
“We never stop until the job is done.”
The August 4 blast killed around 190 people, injured 6,000 others, and destroyed entire neighborhoods.
Authorities held celebrations on Friday to commemorate the one-month mark since the blast, which struck a city already suffering from a severe economic crisis.
Rescue efforts dominated local and social media, as locals were stunned and desperate at the occurrence of a miracle.
The destroyed building, as the search was ongoing, between the residential districts of Gemmayze and Mar Mikhael, was among the areas most affected by the explosion and home to many old buildings that collapsed due to the shock shock.
Rescuers said earlier in the day that work was slow, as the severely damaged building was at risk of complete collapse.
“The building is really collapsing,” said George Abu Musa, head of the Lebanese Civil Defense.
Workers used shovels and their hands to dig, while mechanical diggers and a winch lifted the heavy rubble.
Surveying equipment was also used to create 3D images of the ruined building.
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