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Beirut explosion: German embassy employee killed in Lebanon blast

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An employee at the German embassy in Beirut died in Tuesday's blast at the Lebanese capital's port that killed at least 145 and injured 5,000, the German foreign ministry said on Thursday.

“Our worst fear was confirmed. A member of our embassy in Beirut was killed in her home in the aftermath of the explosion,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement.

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Germany sent aid and rescue teams on Wednesday (August 5) to assist the local authorities in Beirut after the devastating blast.

The German THW, the technical emergency organisation, and ISAR Germany, the International Search and Rescue teams boarded a flight from Frankfurt on Wednesday evening destined for Beirut. On board are search and rescue dogs, medical assessment teams, as well as 15 tonnes of equipment and tools, Timo Eilhard, Chief of Operations of the THW told Reuters.

Lebanese rescue teams continued to pull out bodies and hunt for missing persons in the wreckage of buildings on Wednesday, as investigations blamed negligence for the massive warehouse explosion that sent a destructive blast wave across Beirut.

More than 5,000 people were injured in Tuesday’s explosion at Beirut port, Health Minister Hamad Hassan said, and up to 250,000 were left without homes fit to live in after shockwaves smashed building facades, sucked furniture out into streets and shattered windows miles inland.

The death toll was expected to rise from the blast, which officials blamed on a huge stockpile of highly explosive material stored for years in unsafe conditions at the port.

The explosion was the most powerful ever to rip through Beirut, a city still scarred by civil war that ended three decades ago and reeling from an economic meltdown and a surge in the coronavirus infections. The blast also rattled buildings on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, about 100 miles (160 km) away.

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