4 Bangladeshis killed, 100 hurt in Beirut blasts

Shahidul Islam Chowdhury | Published: 02:34, Aug 05,2020 | Updated: 00:11, Aug 06,2020


A ship is pictured engulfed in flames at the port of Beirut following a massive explosion that hit the heart of the Lebanese capital on August 4, 2020. — AFP photo

At least four Bangladeshis were killed and about 100, including 21 soldiers of Bangladesh Navy, were injured in the two back-to-back explosions at the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, Bangladesh embassy officials in Beirut said.

The four people who died in the incident were expatriate workers, Bangladesh embassy first secretary Abdullah Al Mamun told New Age.

The Bangladeshis killed in the explosions were Mehedi Hasan and Russel of Brahmanbaria, Mizanur Rahman of Madaripur and Rezaul Karim of Cumilla, the official said, adding that at least 78 Bangladeshi workers were injured so far.

Five of the injured, including a naval soldier, are being treated for their injuries.

The injured Bangladeshis were taking treatment at no less than four hospitals, Abdullah said and added that some people took primary treatment of their own accord as local hospitals were overburdened with patients.

The 21 injured soldiers were part of 110-personnel Bangladesh Navy contingent that was on a UN peacekeeping mission and was awarded UN Peace Medals on June 3 for their contributions to peace and stability of Lebanon. The battleship BN Bijoy that carried the soldiers was anchored at the Beirut port.

The injured Navy personnel was admitted to American University of Beirut Medical Centre in a critical condition while others were taken to Hamoud Hospital by helicopter or ambulance under the supervision of United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon, Inter Services Public Relations directorate said in a press release on Wednesday.

The injured navy personnel, crew members of the naval ship are now out of danger except for the critically injured person.  

Bangladesh ambassador to Lebanon Major General Jahangir Al Mustahidur Rahman visited the naval ship immediately after the blasts and pledged to provide all-out support to ensure treatment to the victims.

The embassy teams were working alongside the Bangladeshi expatriate community members to identify the Bangladeshi victims and to ensure essential services including treatment in different hospitals.

Around 1.5 lakh Bangladeshis work in Lebanon, according to officials.

BN Bijoy has been stationed at the Beirut port since January 2018 and Bangladesh has been part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon since 2010.

Over 100 people lost their lives and at least 4,000 people were injured in the blasts, the Lebanese Red Cross said in a statement on Wednesday.

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