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Bride 'happy to be alive' after wedding video captures Beirut explosion

Dr. Israa Seblani was celebrating her wedding day just as a massive explosion rocked Beirut. After the blast, she helped to check on the injured nearby.
Credit: AP
Destruction is seen after a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.

A video of a bride getting ready for her wedding in Beirut captured the moment a massive explosion ripped through the city.

In the 27-second eyewitness video shared by Reuters from Mahmoud Nakib, the camera focuses in on 29-year-old Israa Seblani's gown and her flowers when suddenly the explosion hits. 

The video shows the bouquet sent flying as the videographer runs for cover, along with the couple and others nearby. 

Seblani, who is a doctor working in the United States, helped to check on the injured nearby before fleeing to safety. She and her groom were unharmed in the blast. 

Tuesday's blast killed at least 135 people and wounded about 5,000 more, according to officials. The government ordered port officials put under house arrest amid speculation that negligence was to blame. 

Seblani told Reuters she arrived in Beirut three weeks earlier to prepare for her wedding and said she had "never heard anything similar to the sound of this explosion." 

“I feel so sad about what happened to other people, about what happened to Lebanon,” Seblani told Reuters. “When I woke up and saw the damage that happened to Beirut, the one thing I said was thank God we are still alive.”

The investigation is focusing on how 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical used in fertilizers, came to be stored at the facility for six years, and why nothing was done about it.

A senior U.S. Defense Department official and member of the U.S. intelligence community said there were no indications the massive explosion that erupted on Tuesday evening in Lebanon’s capital was the result of an attack by either a nation state or proxy forces.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.