A Glimmer Of Hope: Nurse Saves Three Infants From A Hospital Hit By The Beirut Explosion
A photojournalist caught the incredible moment shortly after a massive blast rocked the capital.
After an explosion rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday afternoon, residents, rescue workers and first responders were left to clean up the destruction. Over 100 people died in the blast, and thousands were injured, causing hospitals to quickly become overwhelmed with patients in need of care.
When the explosion happened, photojournalist Bilal Jawich left his home and headed to the port of Beirut, the blast's ground zero.
"I followed the smoke until I reached the port of Beirut," Jawich told CNN Arabic.
Check out this shocking video footage of the blast in Beirut, Lebanon...
What he saw was an area of the city that had been devastated by the explosion, with smoke and rubble piled up where buildings used to be. While carefully navigating through the debris, Jawich passed Al Roum hospital in the city's Ashrafieh district.
That's when he noticed a nurse who was holding three infants close to her chest while she used a phone to call for help. Several dead and injured people were just feet away from the nurse, and the windows of her station had been blown out by the blast.
The image of the nurse holding the babies during such a chaotic time is giving people hope during a tragic time. Bilal Marie Jawich/Facebook
"I was amazed when I saw the nurse holding three newborns," Jawich said. "I noticed the nurse's calm, which contrasted the surrounding atmosphere just one meter away."
Jawich quickly snapped a photo of the nurse, who happened to be looking right at him when he captured the shot. Even with the chaos happening all around her, she appears to have a calmness as she cradles three infants in her arms.
"The nurse looked like she possessed a hidden force that gave her self-control and the ability to save those children," Jawich continued.
The explosion came from the port area of the city, where a large amount of highly explosive material was being stored in a warehouse. UNICEF/Facebook
The nurse told Jawich that she was in the maternity ward when the explosion happened. While she had been knocked unconscious, she said she eventually came to, and "found herself carrying these three children."
Sadly, according to George Saad, the emergency preparedness and disaster manager for the hospital, 12 patients, two visitors and four nurses didn't survive the blast and two remain in critical condition. The hospital itself is seriously damaged and half of the equipment has been lost, Saad told CNN. The babies and their mothers have been moved to another healthcare facility nearby.
Over 100 people were killed in the blast and thousands of others injured. UNICEF/Facebook
As the city grapples with the aftermath of the explosion, Jawich's photo of the nurse is being seen as a "glimmer of hope" in dark times.
"People stand out amidst these violent and dark and evil circumstances and this nurse was up to the task," Jawich said.
Residents in Beirut start cleaning up after the blast. @Nadia_Hardman
We salute all of the heroes who are stepping up to help others during such a devastating time. Our hearts and thoughts are with everyone in Beirut!