MANILA, August 5 – Two Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) were killed inside their employers’ homes and among the reported 73 fatalities during the twin massive explosion in Port of Beirut, Lebanon, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.
Eight Filipinos were injured and 11 Filipino seafarers were missing, according to DFA’s earlier report. But the 10 of the 11 have been found already.
This recent development leaves one seafarer still missing.
Based on the statement of the Philippine Embassy in Beirut, the 10 seafarers suffered minor injuries and are now with the management of their shipping company Abu Merhi Cruises at Ain el Mraiseh, Beirut. The company operates the Orient Queen Cruises.
According to Foreign Affairs Department, the ship of the seafarers docked about 400 meters from the shore. When the seafarers expected the shockwave, they decided to jump out of the ship as they thought the ship would sink after.
According to Prime Minister Hassan Diab, the blown-up massive destruction is “a disaster in every sense of the word,” which came from the 2,750 tons of agricultural fertilizer ammonium nitrate that had been stored for years in a portside warehouse.
The twin explosion left thousands injured, shook distant buildings, and created massive panic and chaos among residents, and locals.
An enormous orange fireball in the sky was seen during the second blast, followed by a tornado-like shockwave that swept the entire city, and shattered glass windows from different establishments.
In a press briefing this afternoon, Undersecretary Sarah Arriola of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the other Filipinos who were hurt were also household workers.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement that the Philippines is in solidarity with the people of Lebanon in this period of great grief.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs has been instructed to assist all Filipinos affected by the explosions through the Philippine Embassy in Beirut,” Roque said.
As of today, there are a total of 31,916 overseas Filipino workers in Lebanon. 1,508 OFWs were repatriated by the government from Lebanon due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DFA encourages all Filipinos in Lebanon to coordinate and contact the Philippine Embassy if they need assistance after the incident.
Philippine Embassy Beirut will continue to ascertain the conditions of the seafarers and the other Filipinos who were reported hospitalized. (From Vic Galinato)
For requests for assistance, the Philippine Embassy may be reached through the following:
Telephones – +961 3859430,
+961 81334836, +961 71474416, +961 70681060 and +961 70858086
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook – Philippine Embassy in Lebanon