A video of a bridal shoot that took place at the exact moment of Tuesday’s explosion, which devastated Beirut has gone viral on social media.
The film from videographer Mahmoud Nakib illustrates the impact of the blast in the Lebanese capital when everyday life came to a shuddering halt.
A young woman is seen in the images smiling in her white wedding dress as she poses for the professional shoot in a city square on the day of her nuptials.
The square in Saifi Village was close to the epicentre of the explosion. Suddenly the roaring sound of the blast is heard as it tore through the streets surrounding the port. The bride is blown off her feet.
The camera momentarily veers to the left to film a side street where smoke is already visible, before its shaken operator recovers. Back in the square, there are signs of damage and debris, while the bride and groom can be seen fleeing.
“First of all we heard an explosion but we thought it was far away, it was a small explosion,” Mahmoud told Euronews.
Then came the second blast. “You can see in the video, it was a very, very, very big… You can’t describe the sound I heard, it was awful,” he added.
Mahmoud carried on filming in the aftermath of the blast, and shortly afterwards the couple can be seen walking safely down a street. He says “thank God” they had no serious injuries.
But thousands of others in Beirut were not so lucky.
At least 137 people have died, a Health Ministry spokesperson told AFP, and more than 5,000 were wounded by the explosion.
Lebanon’s health minister has said that there are probably many more victims buried under the rubble.