A few weeks ago an enormous explosion devastated the port area of the city of Beirut and everything surrounding it. The large explosion rocked the capital of Lebanon, killing several people and wounding others. The death toll from the powerful blast rose to 190, and more than 6,500 people have been injured.

After the serious explosion, the Technical Relief Agency (THW) dispatched its first forces to Lebanon to help in the race to find survivors trapped beneath the rubble. On behalf of the federal government, a team from the Rapid Deployment Unit Salvage Abroad (SEEBA) and a team from ISAR Germany (International Search and Rescue), partners of the INGENIOUS project, left for Lebanon and worked for four days to explore and assess the situation, locate and rescue people below collapsed buildings and give an indication of the size of the building damage.

More specifically, ISAR Germany supported the joint USAR mission with their medical expertise (two physicians), a hazmat expert, logistical experts and an EMT assessment team. The operation in Beirut was divided into two main activities: USAR phase in the harbour area and damage building assessment in the city of Beirut.

It is not yet known what caused the ammonium nitrate, stored at the port of the city of Beirut, to detonate and cause this huge disaster. Although an investigation is ongoing, possible causes include a fire in an alleged fireworks warehouse, an attack, or a fire in an ammunition warehouse.

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