Two Filipinos lost their lives in the tragic Beirut explosion. They were among the 100 people who tragically died in the twin explosion which took place in the Lebanese capital.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, 2 OFWs who worked as household service workers who were inside the homes of their employers when the twin explosion happened. Aside from the 2 two fatalities, there were also 8 Filipinos who got injured and 12 were still missing. Among those missing were 11 seafarers and a household service worker who is said to be injured.
Reports say that the huge blast was felt throughout the Philippine Embassy in Beirut which is 20 minutes travel time by car if you are from the blast site. Staffs from the Embassy are all safe.
“We were told that they also felt the shockwave so talagang yumanig talaga ang Embassy. So ganoon kalakas talaga ang explosion. So kahit talagang wala ka sa kalsada at that time, tatamaan ka eh. Kasi marami doon nabasag,” says Sarah Arriola, DFA Undersecretary.
The Philippine team is already readying the repatriation of the remains of the OFWs by the weekend or earliest next week. Filipinos with exit visas will also be repatriated the soonest.
As for the missing OFWs, their agencies are willing to coordinate with the local authorities. The family of those expired OFWs will also be provided with financial assistance.
According to the Prime Minister of Lebanon, the explosion was triggered by the 2,750 agricultural fertilizer ammonium nitrate stored for many years at the portside.
We condole with the families of the two Filipino workers who perished in the tragic accident in Beirut, and pray for the fast recovery of those eight injured, some of them seriously, and still under treatment at various hospitals in that part of Lebanon.
The next of kin of those who died have been duly notified and the necessary assistance is being extended to the family for the immediate repatriation of the dead OFWs to their families in the country. We shall expedite the release of appropriate insurance and OWWA benefits for all victims of the tragedy.
We also note with sadness that 11 others of our OFWs, all sea-based workers docked at the port of Beirut, are still unaccounted for. Our office is coordinating closely with Beirut authorities to locate them and work for their safe return to the country should they decide so.