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Haunting final pic of Beirut firefighters

1 month ago 552

Three brave firefighters, who rushed to a Beirut warehouse that was engulfed in flames, were killed moments later when a massive explosion devastated swathes of the city.

A haunting final photo of the three firefighters, verified by Storyful, was taken moments before the blast with authorities confirming the person who took the photo had also been killed.

The three hero firefighters pictured, Jo Noon, Methal Hawwa and Najib Hati were named as part of the 10-person rapid response team that rushed to the massive warehouse blaze.

Najib Hati rushed to the warehouse fire so quickly he didn’t even have time to put his uniform on, attempting to pry open the door in a white T-shirt.

RELATED: Investigators given four days to get to bottom of explosion

A separate video circulating on social media, also verified by Storyful, showed the firefighters outside the burning warehouse on August 4, shortly before it exploded. One of the men can be heard saying “ask for support”.

The heartbreaking vision and imagewere taken moments before the fire ignited thousands of tonnes of ammonium nitrate, negligently stored in a warehouse in Beirut’s port since 2013.

Beirut’s governor, Marwan Abboud, was quoted by local press as saying 10 firefighters who were at the scene were killed.

The explosion, which sent a blood-red mushroom cloud into the sky, killed at least 137 and left more than 5000 people wounded.

The explosion and potential negligence relating to the ammonium nitrate triggered furious protests around Beirut late Thursday.

Lebanese security forces fired tear gas to disperse dozens of anti-government demonstrators, who were angered by the cataclysmic blast and said it was another example of their government’s incompetence.

The scuffles in central Beirut took place in a ravaged street leading to parliament, the wreckage from Tuesday’s explosion still littering the entire area.

Protesters had sparked a blaze, vandalised stores and lobbed stones at security forces, according to the state-run National News Agency.

Police responded with tear gas to disperse the small, but clearly furious crowd, wounding some demonstrators, NNA said.

Lebanese authorities admitted the explosion was triggered by a fire, igniting 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in the warehouse.

This raised questions as to how such a huge cargo of the highly explosive substance could have been left unsecured for so long.

The explosion came as Lebanon was already knee-deep in its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

It added to the grievances of a protest movement that emerged in October to demand the removal of a political class deemed inept and corrupt.

– With Wires

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