Boris Johnson drafts in Royal Navy to help rebuild Beirut after explosion flattens city

BORIS Johnson has drafted in the Royal Navy to help Beirut after a massive chemical blast razed a huge part of the city to the ground.

Britain pledged an initial £5 million in humanitarian aid to the Mediterranean nation as well as crack teams of search and rescue experts and medics to the flattened Lebanese capital.

A nearby Royal Navy survey ship HMS Enterprise is being diverted to help assess the damage in Beirut’s port, in a bid to help the stricken nation back on its feet as soon as possible.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “We are going to stand by the Lebanese people in their time of need.

"We are ready and now poised to deliver medical experts, humanitarian aid of £5 million, search-and-rescue experts.

"We have also got a Royal Navy survey ship in the area which can be deployed to help assess the damage to the port.

"All of that is ready to go, obviously we will make sure we have got exactly what is tailored towards the Lebanese needs."

Britain has also offered to send specialist dog teams to help pull survivors from the rubble in the city.

And the Army is also offering to help the Lebanese Armed Forces,with strategic air transport assistance, engineering and communications support.

Britain will also send Emergency Medical Teams – which is made up of specialist medical and surgical teams including NHS experts.


International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We have all been shocked by the scenes of devastation and suffering in Beirut. My heart goes out to all those who have been affected by this tragedy and who have lost loved ones.

“The UK stands ready to support the people of Lebanon in their time of need and has offered to send medics and rescue workers to treat those who have been injured.”

The Queen sent a message of condolence to Lebanon as the death toll increased to 135 – with thousands injured in Tuesday's blast.

The Queen said: "Prince Philip and I were deeply saddened by news of the explosion at the Port in Beirut yesterday.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have been injured or lost their lives, and all those whose homes and livelihoods have been affected."

Mr Raab said the details of Britons caught up in the Beirut blast were still being established.

He said: "We are not sure on the precise figures in relation to UK nationals there, we will obviously want to bottom out that in the days ahead.

"Obviously we have a consular team there which are monitoring that very carefully."

The Foreign Secretary said he spoke to the Lebanese prime minister Hassan Diab and was promised a "full, thorough and rigorous."

Mr Raab said: "He has been very clear with me that there will be a full, thorough and rigorous investigation to get to the truth – I think the people of the Lebanon deserve no less – and that there will be full accountability, subject of course to the results and the outcome of that investigation."

Meanwhile Chair of the Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood called on hospital ship RFA Argus to be diverted from the Caribbean to help provide extra medical aid.

And former Tory Chancellor Sajid Javid urged people to donate to a Red Cross appeal.

He said: “Lebanon is in – an economic crisis – a banking crisis – a political crisis – a corruption crisis – a refugee crisis – a coronavirus crisis – the grip of a terror organisation …and that was BEFORE the #BeirutExplosion. Please help if you can and donate now. “

The British Red Cross (BRC) has launched an emergency appeal in response to the devastating explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut yesterday.

The funds raised by the BRC appeal will help the frontline responders.

So far, the Lebanese Red Cross has sent all of its emergency medical support to the scene, including more than 75 ambulances and over 375 emergency medical responders from across Lebanon.


Alexander Matheou, executive director of international at the British Red Cross, said: "The situation in Beirut is very serious.

"Hospitals have been heavily damaged. Doctors are overwhelmed with the number of people needing medical help and are not able to treat everyone.

"Some people have had to be treated in the streets and the number of fatalities is likely to rise.

"If you can, please donate to our Beirut Emergency Appeal to save lives right now and help people recover."

The Lebanese government has put an unspecified number of Beirut port officials under house arrest pending an investigation into how 2,750 tonnes of explosive ammonium nitrate came to be stored at the port for years.

Mr Raab said the Lebanese prime minister told him there would be a “full, thorough and rigorous investigation to get to the truth – I think the people of the Lebanon deserve no less – and that there will be full accountability”.

The Government has said all embassy staff based in Beirut are accounted for, but some have suffered “non-life-threatening injuries”.

GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL

Source: Read Full Article