A poignant video showing a Lebanese woman playing the piano in the wreckage of her destroyed home has been shared by supermodel Bella Hadid.
A fire at a warehouse sparked a massive explosion that devastated Beirut yesterday, killing at least 135 and destroying homes and buildings.
The horrific scenes led to an outpouring of support for the Middle East nation, with government’s around the world pledging aid.
Now, a touching video of a woman on the piano in the ruins of her home has been shared by Bella Hadid.
Posting the clip on her Instagram page, the model shared a heartfelt message.
She wrote: ‘My eyes and heart are crying for you Lebanon. Over 150 people dead , thousands injured or missing… I am sorry you have to endure this kind of disaster my brothers and sisters…I will be sending donations to the Lebanese Red Cross, as well as ALL of the smaller organizations in Beirut from the last slide of this post.
‘I hope you will join me. 300,000 people have been displaced and have become homeless.
‘This explosion is coming during one of the hardest times for Lebanon in history… with an unprecedented economic crisis and famine, political unrest, homelessness , the pandemic and the unemployment rate plummeting, we NEED to support the people of Lebanon.
‘Helping from within, through these smaller organizations can help pin point what necessities are most needed and where they can be sent, exactly. We need to continue to speak on this crisis.
‘But most importantly , We need to collectively support immediate humanitarian relief. Stand UP and stand TOGETHER. I love you all out there. Beirut – I am wrapping you in a golden blanket of light and strength. I see you and support you. I am sorry.’
The footage showed the woman playing the piano, before panning to the wreckage of her home.
People, presumably her family, moved through the house, moving broken pieces of furniture and debris.
Lebanon’s political leaders vowed those responsible for the tragedy would ‘pay the price’, but customs officials pointed the finger of blame back at them – saying they were repeatedly warned of the danger but failed to act.
It came as an astonishing photo emerged, purporting to show the dock’s Warehouse 12 filled with ammonium nitrate – with the highly explosive chemical stored in simple construction sacks with no other protection in place.
The dangerous load is understood to have been abandoned by Russian businessman Igor Grechushkin in September 2013 before eventually being transferred to the port where it remained for six years.
A ship carrying the load was detained en route from Batumi, in the ex-Soviet republic Georgia, to Mozambique, and never recovered.
On Tuesday evening a fire that started in Warehouse 9 ignited 2,750 tons of the chemical – sparking an explosion with three kilotons of force, equivalent to a fifth the size of the Hiroshima nuclear blast.
Raghida Dergham of the Beirut Institute yesterday said: ‘Storing Ammonium Nitrate in a civilian port is a crime against humanity that must not go unpunished.
‘Condemnations are not enough. I’m safe but devastated. I lost friends. I lost my apartment. Had I been home, I would have lost my life.’
The health minister tonight announced the death toll had risen to 135, with some 5,000 wounded and dozens still missing in Beirut, which officials have called a ‘disaster city’.
An official source familiar with preliminary investigations blamed the incident on negligence. Lebanese citizens directed anger at politicians who have overseen decades of state corruption and bad governance that plunged the nation into financial crisis.
Director General of Lebanese Customs Badri Daher said the country’s judiciary was told six times about the hazardous chemicals stored in a warehouse in the Lebanese capital.
Customs officials are understood to have asked authorities to move the dangerous substance from Hangar 12 due to the danger they believe it posed to the city and given to the army or sold to an explosives company.
‘We requested that it be re-exported but that did not happen. We leave it to the experts and those concerned to determine why,’ Daher said.
Another source close to a port employee said a team that inspected the ammonium nitrate six months ago warned that if it was not moved it would ‘blow up all of Beirut’.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab vowed those responsible will ‘pay the price’ as he declared a two-week state of emergency to deal with the crisis, urging all world leaders and ‘friends of Lebanon’ to donate aid to the country, adding: ‘We are witnessing a real catastrophe.’
Documents published online suggested it could be given to the army or sold to an explosives company, but did not receive any replies, leaving the explosive cargo languishing in the now destroyed port area of the capital.
Ammonium nitrate is a chemical used in fertiliser bombs and is widely used by the construction industry but also by insurgent groups such as the Taliban and the IRA for improvised explosives.