A nurse has been hailed for heroism after saving three newborn babies amid the aftermath of Beirut’s massive explosion.
Lebanon’s capital saw catastrophic damage following the mega-explosion on August 4.
And as more footage and images of the devastating blast circulate online, one picture stands out from the rest: A photo capturing a nurse saving three infants amid scenes of devastation across Beirut city.
Photographer Bilal Jawich the captured the moment — he called the nurse a ‘heroine.’
The image has since gone viral, with thousands of shares.
Jawich had headed to the area after seeing a massive plume of smoke rise into the sky.
He told CNN Arabic:
“I followed the smoke until I reached the port of Beirut [and] eventually… to Al Roum hospital.”
“I was amazed when I saw the nurse holding three newborns.”
Jawich noted rubbles from the explosion littered the hospital. Several bodies and wounded patients scattered across the hospital floor.
That’s when he spotted the nurse cuddling the infants in her arms while she spoke on the phone.
“I noticed the nurse’s calm, which contrasted the surrounding atmosphere just one meter away.”
“The nurse looked like she possessed a hidden force that gave her self-control and the ability to save those children.”
“People stand out amidst these violent and dark and evil circumstances, and this nurse was up to the task.”
The photojournalist also said the nurse recounted to him how she was knocked unconscious inside the maternity ward. Later, she regained her strength and clutched the babies.
In a Facebook post, Jawich wrote:
“16 years of press photography and lots of wars. I can say I [have never seen] what I saw… in the Ashrafia area.”
“In front of the rum hospital… this ‘heroine’ caught me. [She continued] to call despite the suspension of communication, holding three newborn babies and surrounded by dozens of bodies.”
The explosion has killed at least four nurses at the hospital, injuring over 200 patients, visitors, and staff.
The hospital also suffered significant damages. It was without electricity for hours after the explosion. Doctors and nurses had to treat people in a car park outside the facility.
Beirut’s explosion has destroyed hundreds of buildings and injured thousands of people. Over 200 people have also lost their lives.
And officials have linked the incident to over 2,750 tons of confiscated ammonium nitrate in a warehouse at the city’s port.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab said:
“It is unacceptable that a shipment of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate has been present for six years in a warehouse. It’s unacceptable. We can’t remain silent on this issue.”
However, detectives are yet to confirm the exact cause of the explosion.