Cruise Ship Damaged in Beirut Blast, 11 Filipino Seafarers Missing, 2 OFW’s Dead

Aug 05, 2020

The Lebanese capital was shaken by a huge explosion at the port of Beirut on Tuesday evening, killing more than 100 people, injuring thousands, and causing massive damage to the city and the nation.

Lebanon Interior Minister said in an interview that the blast was caused by a detonation of more than 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, highly explosive chemical, stored at a warehouse docks after being seized six years ago. Many residential buildings are seriously damaged and reduced to an uninhabitable mess of glass and debris within a 10-kilometer radius. Damages can be seen all across the city including the presidential palace, several embassies, and the international airport.

The port of Beirut is significantly damaged and there are reports of many casualties at the site. The explosion has also damaged the cruise ship Orient Queen operated by the Lebanese cruise line Abou Merhi Cruises, which was docked in the port along other cargo ships.

The news agency Al Jazeera reports that a man in the all-white uniform of a ship crew, stained with blood, wandered near the explosion site. The interior was blown out, and the ship was listing heavily onto the quayside.

Philippine Embassy in Beirut announced that 2 Overseas Filipino Workers died from the explosion, one sustained serious injuries, and eleven Filipino seafarers have been reported missing.

The following video was posted on Twitter showing 4 injured Filipino seafarers of the cruise ship Orient Queen, with wet and ripped clothes waiting in front of a hospital in Beirut.

Today the Philippine Embassy in Beirut released the following update:

“Philippine Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, confirms with a heavy heart that two Filipinos died from the explosion. Another eight Filipinos suffered from injuries, one of them is in critical but stable condition, while the rest sustained minor injuries.

Two of those injured are currently recuperating at the Embassy Chancery after receiving treatment from a hospital. They are part of a group of 13 Filipino seafarers whose ship was docked some 400 meters away from the blast zone. The other eleven (11), as of this reporting, have been reported missing.

The Department reassures the public and the Filipinos in Beirut that it shall provide all the necessary assistance to provide succor to the victims.

Through our Embassy in Beirut, we remain in contact with the local authorities in launching efforts to locate and ensure safety of the missing Filipinos reported.”