Bilal Hussein/AP/Shutterstock Beirut aftermath
One month after a devastating explosion rocked Beirut, rescue workers have found evidence that a survivor might possibly be buried beneath a massive pile of rubble.
“These [signs of breathing and pulse] along with the temperature sensor means there is a possibility of life,” rescue worker Eddy Bitar told Reuters.
At least 191 people were killed and 6,000 more were injured when the explosion shook the Lebanese city on Aug. 4. Lebanese officials believe the explosion was caused by thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse located in Beirut's port that somehow ignited.
The rubble from which the signal was detected was inspected shortly after the explosion by a French rescue team and Lebanese civil defense volunteers, the AP reported. They found no evidence of survivors at the site, which once housed a bar on the ground floor.
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But a Chilean search and rescue team recently sparked hope with their find, which they discovered upon bringing a sniffer dog to the scene on Gemmayzeh Street, according to the outlet.
They reportedly then used their audio detection equipment, and found what could possible be a pulse of 18 to 19 beats per minute, the origin of which remains unclear.
Bilal Hussein/AP/Shutterstock Rescuers search rubble in Beirut after detecting signs of life
“Ninety-nine percent there isn’t anything, but even if there is less than 1 percent hope, we should keep on looking,” civil defense worker Youssef Malah told the AP.
The potential rescue mission was halted after just several hours on Thursday because it was deemed unsafe, Reuters reported. The team also needs the help of heavy machinery to safely lift the rubble, and could not get access to one until Friday.
Beirut officials have estimated that the cost of the damage — which made at least 25,000 homes uninhabitable — could reach $15 billion, the Washington Post reported.