Dutch search and rescue team lands in Beirut
Search and rescue team USAR from the Netherlands landed in Lebanon. They set foot in the capital of Beirut, which was rocked by a massive explosion on Tuesday, at around 1:15 a.m. on Thursday. The team will help search for survivors under the rubble, for whom time is running out.
At least 135 people were killed and some 5 thousand injured in the explosion. Many people are still missing. Six people at the Dutch embassy were hurt, including the Dutch ambassador's wife, who sustained serious injuries.
All 64 members of the USAR were tested for the coronavirus before they departed the military airbase in Eindhoven and when they arrived in Beirut, according to ANP. "They are housed in a hotel about 5 kilometers away from where the explosion took place. When it gets light we will see how we proceed," a spokesperson said to the news wire.
The team consists of volunteers who normally work for the fire brigade, police, or in healthcare. They took eight sniffer dogs with them, to help in the search for survivors. A transport aircraft also flew to Lebanon, carrying concrete saws, microphones, cameras, water and food.
The area of the explosion will first be explored, then the team will make contact with Lebanese authorities and French rescue workers already on site.