10 Filipino seafarers in Beirut blast safe and accounted for, one still missing

Published August 5, 2020, 9:19 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Philippine Embassy in Lebanon on Wednesday announced that 10 of the 11 Filipino seafarers earlier reported missing in the aftermath of the massive explosion in Beirut have been found “safe and accounted for” and are now under the care of the management of the shipping company they are employed with. 
 
In an advisory, the embassy said the 10 Filipinos suffered only minor injuries and are now with Abu Merhi Cruises, the company that operates the Orient Queen Cruises, in the Lebanese capital. 
 
With the latest development, the embassy said only one seafarer is missing.
 
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said there were a total of 12 Filipinos missing, 8 injured and two fatalities in the powerful explosions that struck Beirut on Tuesday. One of the injured is said to be in “serious but stable condition.”
 
The embassy said it will continue to ascertain the conditions of the seafarers and the other Filipinos who were reported hospitalized.
 
The DFA said MV Orient Queen was docked at the Port of Beirut, some 400 meters from the blast zone when the incident occurred. Thinking that the ship would sink due to the strong shockwave sent by the massive explosions, the seafarers chose to jump into the water.  
 
Two other Filipino seafarers who were among the first to be rescued right after the twin explosions were brought to the hospital for minor injuries and are now recuperating at the embassy chancery. 
 
Meanwhile, the DFA informed the public that all embassy personnel in Beirut are safe with no reported physical damage to its premises. The location of the embassy is about 20 minutes drive from the center of the explosion.

 
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