HI’s Head of Mission, Caroline Duconseille, was on a roof terrace at the moment of the explosion:
“I felt the building tremble slightly. Then we heard the first explosion with white smoke, shortly followed by an enormous one and lots of orange smoke. The chairs began to fly everywhere and all the glass in the building opposite shattered. It was terrifying!”
HI’s offices in the Achrafieh quarter of Beirut 2km from the site of the explosion have been heavily damaged, as have the homes of several of our team. Fortunately none of our staff was seriously injured.
“Once I had checked that all of my team was safe, we began to visit hospitals and partners to understand what the needs of the injured are. HI has an important role to play in the coming days to reduce the impact of this disaster”.
HI has a team of 98 staff in Lebanon as well as a network of partners, which will now be mobilized to bring our expertise and resources to those in need. Emergency evaluations conducted by HI in Beirut’s hospitals reveal that common injuries include complex fractures and amputations to extremities (fingers, toes). Many have already undergone surgery and will quickly need physical therapy and mobility aids in order to begin their recovery.