Czech Republic to send a search and rescue team to Beirut following Tuesday's explosion

The Minister of the Interior will disptach a Czech USAR team to Lebanon Wednesday afternoon

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 05.08.2020 09:39 (updated on 05.08.2020)

Prague, August 5 (CTK) — The Czech Republic will send a special Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team to Beirut, which was heavily damaged by a massive explosion Tuesday, Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) told journalists today.

The team is comprised of 37 people including five dog handlers.

Lebanon has accepted the offer and the team will fly there this afternoon, Hamacek said.

On Tuesday, two giant explosions in the Beirut port destroyed several districts. There have been over 100 deaths and 4,000 injuries.

The USAR is comprised of firefighters from Prague and the Moravia-Silesia Region. It is designated to find and save people from ruins of buildings, able to leave for help within ten hours, if the afflicted country accepts the aid.

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It has provided aid in elemental disasters in several countries.

“In connection with the situation in Beirut, help was offered by the Czech Republic. The Medium USAR team of Prague firefighters was activated. It is being prepared for deployment,” Prague firefighters spokesman Martin Kavka has told CTK.

The causes of the disaster are still unclear. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said tons of ammonium nitrate had probably exploded in the port.

US President Donald Trump said that according to US military experts the blast had been caused by a bomb attack.

The explosion was heard as far as Cyprus, at a distance of more than 200 kilometers from Lebanon.

Dozens of people died, thousands were injured and casualties are still being reported.