A bridal photoshoot captured the moment of massive explosion in Beirut
TORONTO -- A Lebanese bride had to run for cover as she was posing for wedding photographs with her groom in central Beirut just moments before the massive explosion rocked the capital.
Israa Seblani was posing in her wedding gown in a nearly empty square approximately one kilometre from the city's port on Tuesday when the blast hit.
Footage captured by the couple's wedding videographer, Mahmoud Nakib, shows the camera slightly shake as it pans down the train of Seblani's dress before the explosion occurs.
Nakib keeps the camera rolling as the explosion blows away Seblani's bouquet, which was placed on the train of her dress, billowing out the rest of the gown behind her.
The shock wave sends Nakib stumbling across the street but he manages to return the camera's view to the original spot where Seblani was posing, capturing the groom guiding her as they flee to safety.
The square -- quiet just moments before -- is pictured through a haze of smoke as the bride and groom dodge overturned tables and broken glass before turning a corner.
Nakib posted a second video following the explosion on his Facebook page showing the groom and another man helping Seblani with her dress as they continue down the street. Alarms are going off in nearby buildings and the street is seen littered with debris.
Nakib told news verification agency Storyful that he and the couple were unharmed by the explosion. He said they took refuge at a house before dining at a small restaurant later that evening.
Officials say the explosion was caused by a fire that set off more than 2,750 tonnes of explosive ammonium nitrate at a warehouse in Beirut’s port. The blast killed at least 135 people and wounded about 5,000 others, according to Lebanon’s health minister.