BBC News Arabic Journalist Was on Live Interview When The Blast Tore The Building

Published August 6th, 2020 - 06:44 GMT
A helicopter try to put out multiple fires at the scene of the massive explosion that hit Beirut's port on August 4, 2020 in the heart of the Lebanese capital. Rescuers searched for survivors in Beirut on August 5 after a cataclysmic explosion at the port sowed devastation across entire neighbourhoods, killing more than 100 people, wounding thousands and plunging Lebanon deeper into crisis. AFP
A helicopter try to put out multiple fires at the scene of the massive explosion that hit Beirut's port on August 4, 2020 in the heart of the Lebanese capital. Rescuers searched for survivors in Beirut on August 5 after a cataclysmic explosion at the port sowed devastation across entire neighbourhoods, killing more than 100 people, wounding thousands and plunging Lebanon deeper into crisis. AFP
Highlights
It is thought that she was able to escape unharmed. 

A BBC Arabic journalist filmed the terrifying moment her office was torn apart during a live interview as a massive explosion ripped through Beirut.

Maryam Toumi had been conducting an interview with Faisal Al-Asil, director of projects at the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy, when the blast hit the Lebanese capital yesterday.

Ms Toumi was forced to duck under a desk for cover as Mr Al-Asil watched on in horror - helpless to intervene.

It is thought that she was able to escape unharmed. 

Ms Toumi had been at the office around 1.5 miles away from the epicentre of the explosion at the port in Beirut.

She began talking to Mr Al-Asil before an ominous rumble could be heard in the background as furniture began to shake. 

Ms Toumi looked around in a growing panic before the blast ripped through the building as workers screamed in terror.

The BBC reporter was thrown to the floor and began whimpering in pain off-screen while Mr Al-Asil and his colleagues were forced to watch on in horror - helpless to intervene. 

The camera, which fell to the ground, framed shards of broken glass that had scattered across the floor as a deafening alarm sounded in the background. 

After a tense few seconds, Ms Toumi reached out toward the camera, seemingly unharmed, as she crawled from under a desk which she had used for cover.

All BBC staff were declared safe after the incident, according to Middle East correspondent Martin Patience. 

The explosion was triggered by more than 2,750 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate - the main ingredient in fertilizer bombs.

It had been detonated when a fire, apparently sparked by a nearby welder, spread to the warehouse where it had been stored for six years. 

The blast, which is thought to be one of the world's biggest-ever peacetime explosions, has killed at least 100 people and injured more than 4,000. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.     


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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