A nurse pulled three babies out of a hospital rocked by the massive explosion in Beirut on Tuesday, a photographer who took her picture told CNN Arabic.
Photojournalist Bilal Jawich said he was at home on the outskirts of Beirut when the blast, which has left at least 100 dead and thousands injured, rocked the Lebanese capital.
“I followed the smoke until I reached the port of Beirut,” he said, explaining that “professional intuition” took him to Al Roum hospital, in the Ashrafieh district. The area has been left devastated by the blast.
What he saw was remarkable. “I was amazed when I saw the nurse holding three newborns,” Jawich told CNN Arabic. “I noticed the nurse’s calm, which contrasted with the surrounding atmosphere just one meter away.” Several dead and injured people lay nearby, he said.
“However, the nurse looked like she possessed a hidden force that gave her self-control and the ability to save those children,” Jawich said. “People stand out amidst these violent and dark and evil circumstances and this nurse was up to the task.”
Jawich said the nurse told him later that evening that she was in the maternity ward when the blast hit. She said she had been knocked unconscious, and when she came around “found herself carrying these three children,” he told CNN Arabic.
Not everyone in the hospital was so lucky. George Saad, emergency preparedness and disaster manager for the hospital told CNN that some 12 patients, two visitors and four nurses died in yesterday’s incident, while two remain in critical condition. Some 80% of the hospital had been damaged, along with 50% of its equipment, he said.