More than 60 missing after Beirut mega-blast: Live updates

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Lebanese president says blast probe looking into possible “external interference” additionally to simple negligence or an accident. Lebanese authorities have taken into custody 16 people as a part of an investigation.

US President Donald Trump says he will join a call to debate aid to Lebanon.

At least 154 people were killed within the explosion and quite 6,000 others injured, but numbers are expected to rise as search-and-rescue operations continue for missing people.

Saturday, August 8
09:30 GMT – Wife of Dutch envoy to Lebanon dies after being hurt in Beirut blast
The wife of the Dutch ambassador to Lebanon died on Saturday after being seriously injured within the massive explosion that tore through Beirut’s port, the Dutch Foreign Ministry said.

Hedwig Waltmans-Molier, 55, was injured by the explosion as she stood next to her husband, ambassador Jan Waltmans, within the front room of their house in Beirut, the ministry said.

Tuesday’s blast caused extensive damage to the Dutch embassy, injuring four people connected thereto .

09:00 GMT – Turkey says it’s able to help rebuild port of Beirut
Turkey is prepared to assist rebuild the port of Beirut, which was destroyed by a huge blast on Tuesday, Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay said during a visit to Lebanon.

Turkey’s port of Mersin, on the Mediterranean, is prepared to help the port of Beirut, he said, without elaborating

08:30 GMT – France’s Macron to co-host Lebanon donor conference
French President Emmanuel Macron will host a donor conference for Lebanon via video-link on Sunday, his office said, as countries mobilise to assist rebuild Beirut after this week’s massive blast.

The conference, which can be co-chaired by the United Nations , will seek pledges from participants including US President Donald Trump. it’s expected to make a decision the way to distribute the help so it benefits the people directly.

Macron, who visited Beirut on Thursday, promised angry Lebanese crowds that aid to rebuild the town ravaged by Tuesday’s huge explosion wouldn’t fall under “corrupt hands”.

07:45 GMT – Arab League ‘ready’ to mobilise efforts to assist Lebanon
Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Saturday he would seek to mobilise Arab efforts to supply support to Lebanon after a huge explosion destroyed parts of its capital Beirut in the week .

Speaking after a gathering with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, he also said reporters that the Cairo-based league of Arab states was able to assist the investigation into the blast.

“We are able to help with all our means,” he said.

07:00 GMT – quite 60 still missing after Beirut mega-blast: ministry
More than 60 people are still missing in Beirut, four days after a huge explosion at the port left quite 150 people dead, a health ministry official said.

“The number of dead is 154, including 25 who haven’t yet been identified,” the official told the AFP press agency . “In addition, we’ve quite 60 people still missing.”

The health minister said on Friday that a minimum of 120 of the 5,000 people that were injured on Tuesday are in critical condition.

02:33 GMT – WHO worried Beirut’s coronavirus outbreak could worsen
The World Health Organization (WHO) says it’s scrambling to deploy $1.7m worth of private protective equipment to Beirut after 17 containers filled will supplies and equipment for the COVID-19 response were destroyed within the city’s devastating chemical explosion.

Dr Rick Brennan, the WHO emergencies director for the eastern Mediterranean region, said 6,100 people were injured within the blast and stressed the importance of now balancing the coronavirus response with pressing immediate needs like trauma care and psychosocial support.

“This massive extra burden of injured people, displaced people, means resources are getting to need to be focused thereon response – and that we worry that an already overburdened health system and therefore the refore the Ministry of Health is now getting to be overstretched to satisfy the requirements of both the COVID response and the emergency response.”

00:13 GMT – Trump to hitch aid call for Beirut
US President Donald Trump has said he will join a call with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and other world leaders on Sunday to debate aid to Lebanon.

Trump, who spoke earlier with the conference’s organiser, Frace’s President Emmanuel Macron, tweeted that “everyone wants to help!”

“We are going to be having a call on Sunday with President Macron, leaders of Lebanon, and leaders from various other parts of the planet ,” he said.

He said he told Aoun that three large US aircraft were on the way to Lebanon to deliver medical supplies, food, water and medical personnel.

Source: aljazeera

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