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Medevac flight arrives in Abu Dhabi carrying Akkar explosion victims

Published: Updated:

A medevac flight has arrived at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, carrying victims of a fuel tank blast that killed at least 28 people in northern Lebanon.

Heath authorities have started admitting the injured to specialized hospitals in the United Arab Emirates for immediate treatment and rehabilitation programs, state news agency WAM reported.

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Families laid to rest Wednesday victims of the explosion amid anger and sorrow over the crisis-hit country’s latest tragedy.

The explosion on Sunday in Al-Tleil in the Akkar region scorched crowds clamoring for petrol that the army was distributing in light of severe fuel shortages that have paralyzed a country also beset by medicine, gas and bread shortages.

Vehicles burn outside the reported home of the lot owner, where the exploded fuel tank was placed, in the village of Tlel in Lebanon's northern region of Akkar on August 15, 2021. (AFP)
Vehicles burn outside the reported home of the lot owner, where the exploded fuel tank was placed, in the village of Tlel in Lebanon's northern region of Akkar on August 15, 2021. (AFP)

The victims included soldiers and residents who darted to Al-Tleil after midnight to fill gasoline in plastic containers straight from a fuel tank that exploded in circumstances that remain unclear.

The tank was among supplies confiscated by the military, which has lately wrested supplies from alleged fuel hoarders across the country.

The disaster came on top of an economic crisis branded by the World Bank as one of the planet’s worst in modern times and follows an explosion of poorly stored fertilizer at Beirut port last summer that killed more than 200 people and destroyed swathes of the capital.

The Akkar village of Al-Daouseh held funerals for four of its dead, all of whom are from the Shraytih family.

“They died for petrol -- if we had fuel this would have never happened,” said Mouin Shraytih who was burying two sons -- one 16 and the other 20.

“Political leaders and officials should consider what it is like to have two young boys and find them burned and charred in front of your own eyes,” the man in his fifties told AFP at the funeral.

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