MOSCOW, August 6. /TASS/. A third plane of the Russian emergencies ministry has taken off for Beirut, rocked by a huge blast on Tuesday, after a stopover in Saratov, the ministry’s press service said on Thursday.
"At 04:53 Moscow time on August 6, an Il-76 plane took off from Saratov for Lebanon," it said, specifying that the plane was carrying 15 specialists from Russia’s sanitary watchdog and equipment for organizing a laboratory for conducting tests for the novel coronavirus infection.
On Wednesday evening, more than 100 Russian specialists - rescuers, doctors and psychologists - arrived in Beirut. The Russian emergencies ministry’s planes also brought an airmobile hospital.
Two more flight are be performed to Beirut to bring more Russian specialists. According to Sergei Vorontsov, the chief of the ministry’s taskforce, Russia may send more rescuers to the area.
A powerful blast rocked the Beirut seaport area near the Lebanese Navy’s base on August 4, sending a shockwave through residential neighborhoods of the Lebanese capital. The shockwave destroyed and damaged dozens of buildings and cars. Local authorities say the blast was caused by the detonation of 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, stored in the port after being confiscated by the customs services in 2015.
According to latest updates, at least 137 people were killed and about 5,000 were injured. Dozens are still missing. Over 300,000 people were left homeless.