BEIRUT (Reuters) – Rescue workers continued to dig through the rubble of a Beirut building for a third day on Saturday, still hoping to find someone alive more than a month after a massive port explosion shattered Lebanon’s capital.
About 50 rescue workers and volunteers, including a specialist team from Chile, had yet to locate anyone after sensors on Thursday detected signs of breathing and heat. But they said they would continue while there was a small chance of finding a survivor, and had narrowed their search.
"Always in search operations like this, you can neither lose hope nor absolutely say there is hope,” George Abou Moussa, director of operations in Lebanon’s civil defense, told Reuters.
The Aug. 4 blast killed about 190 people, injured 6,000 more and devastated whole neighborhoods. The authorities held ceremonies on Friday to mark a month since the explosion tore into a city already reeling from a crippling economic crisis.
Rescue efforts dominated local and social media, as the Lebanese were transfixed, desperate for some good news.
Work was slow, rescue workers said, as the badly damaged building was at risk of collapse.
"The building is really crumbling, it’s scary and there’s a lot of danger to the team,” Abou Moussa said.
Workers were using shovels and their hands to dig, while mechanical diggers and a crane lifted heavy debris.