A Tasmanian politician’s relatives have been caught up in the devastating blast in Beirut that has killed at least 135 people and injured thousands.
Clark Labor MHA Ella Haddad, who is the state’s shadow attorney-general and the Opposition justice and corrections spokeswoman, said she had uncles, aunties and cousins living in the capital of Lebanon but they hadn’t been physically injured in the explosion.
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“One of my cousins, Sami, he’s right in the city area,” she said. “And his whole building wasn’t destroyed but he sent me photos – he lives in an apartment – and all the verandahs have been blasted off, all of the windows were blown in.”
“There’s just smashed windows and smashed glass throughout the entire apartment. That happened to him and another cousin – she has a retail shop and that’s all the same.”
The explosion happened at a warehouse in Beirut’s port on Tuesday, caused by an ammonium nitrate stockpile.
Ms Haddad said she had been communicating with her relatives via an instant messaging app since the blast occurred and that they were “just devastated”.
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“They’re living in a country that has been, for all of their childhood, the ’80s and ’90s, in a period of civil war and then a period of political unrest and now economic devastation that hit the country pre-COVID,” she said.
“This has come at a time when the country is already economically and socially suffering.”
Ms Haddad’s father was born in Beirut and in the 1960s, at age 15, he relocated to Melbourne with his mother, father and siblings.
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