From Surgery to Search and Rescue

One Woman’s Nightmarish Tale of Surviving the Explosion:

By Julia Wallace

As Wilma Saloum lay recovering in a hospital bed from her surgery that morning, she believed that the most challenging part of her day was already behind her. Little did she know that a massive shockwave would soon come ripping through her room, badly injuring her friend and sending her on a wild race through Beirut to find the nearest unscathed hospital where she could receive the urgent care he needed.

In the minutes leading up to the explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate at the Beirut port, Wilma had been chatting with a friend who had come to visit when suddenly a deafening sound reverberated through the atmosphere and a massive shock threw her friend across the room. Once the dust had settled, she opened her eyes to see that the room had been transformed into a mangled mass of glass and rubble. She frantically began yelling for her friend, George, who was no longer in sight.

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