Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Beirut (AFP) - At least 26 people were killed when an old six-storey building in the Lebanese capital collapsed, officials said on Monday, with more people still trapped under the rubble. A dozen people were also injured, none of them seriously. Civil defence chief General Raymond Khattar told AFP the bodies recovered by rescuers who worked through Sunday night and Monday included those of seven Lebanese, six Sudanese, two Filipinos and two Egyptians. Among the dead was a 15-year-old Lebanese girl, and those hurt included her grandmother as well as a 73-year-old Lebanese man, at least two Sudanese, an Egyptian and a Filipina. The building housed some 50 people, many of them labourers from Sudan and Egypt, Khattar said, adding that at least eight people were known to have escaped as the building came down.

A Syrian labourer at a nearby building site said debris started falling from the building in the early evening before the entire block came crashing down. “We saw small pieces of stone falling down but no one paid any attention at the start,” he told AFP. “Then large chunks of stone started falling and people began screaming for everyone to get out. Within minutes, the building was on the floor.”  Bilal Hamad, the head of Beirut municipality, urged all residents to alert authorities should they suspect any danger in their neighbourhoods and said a team of experts would soon begin to inspect buildings across the capital, many of which are built illegally or have had storeys added without proper permits. There was speculation that heavy rain may have contributed to Sunday’s disaster, making the building more prone to collapse.

At least 27 people died and several people were injured when a five-storey building collapsed unexpectedly in the Lebanese capital Beirut.  Rescuers are continuing their search of the site in the Ashrafiyeh district for a further 16 people believed to be buried beneath the rubble.  It is said the building was extremely run-down and the owner had recently warned tenants to move out.  We are daily surrounded by many dangers; there are risks at every step, so we should choose the Lord as our protector.

A firm confidence that the Supreme Lord will protect us in all circumstances is needed. In fact, who is saving us from all the dangers and calamities that are hovering around us every moment? In time of a severe trial, all of our acquisitions or our nearest relations fail. There is no power anywhere in this universe that would do any harm to a person whose Protector is the Supreme Lord. On the contrary, the entire population and resources of the whole universe, cannot save him, if he is disowned by the Lord. This firmness in his belief makes him steady ever the more. This spirit of confidence saves him from the unsteady nature of the mind. … It makes the life of a striver light and easy, and his journey remarkably smooth and pleasant.

Śrīla Bhakti Vaibhava Purī Mahārāj:
“Guru and Atma Nivedan”
“Firm Confidence in the Lord”
Bhakti Vigyan Nityananda Book Trust
Śrī Krishna Chaitanya Mission - http://www.purimaharaj.com/


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