As exhausted rescuers combed wreckage to find anyone still alive from the Beirut blast, three disconsolate families camped outside the port where their loved ones were last located.
Elias Marouni sat in a chair describing his George, a 30-year-old army officer who worked at the shattered facility and was just meters away from the epicenter of the explosion that killed 154 people and injured 5,000.
“We would like to go inside the port to look for my son but we can’t get permission,” he said after waiting for three days. “No one is helping us, only God can.”
Members of the Lebanese army stand guard at the site of Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon, on August 7, 2020. (Reuters)
Mohammed Zahid has also been waiting since the blast outside an entrance to the port, along with a dozen others. He sleeps on a sidewalk in the hope his brother Amin, a security guard, somehow survived, or at least his body can be found.
“We went to a hospital to give our DNA to match it with relatives. Nobody got back to us,” he said, close to a sign with directions to different sections of the port that hung sideways from the force of the blast.