Filipinos recount blast in Lebanon
BEIRUT, Lebanon – Many Filipinos were working in the popular commercial district here when a car bomb exploded, claiming the lives of eight people and left 78 others wounded.
“Nung time na yun, nandoon kami sa nursery nagbabantay kami ng mga bata. Nang sumabog yun, sa awa naman ng Diyos, walang kahit na galos sa isang bata pero lahat ng bintana namin, sumabog yun,” said nursery aide Amy Dellomes.
Dellomes said they quickly secured the children by bringing them inside a room while waiting for their parents to pick them up.
“Sa awa naman ng Diyos, talagang naging safety na ang lahat. Pati kami, walang nangyari sa amin,” Dellomes said.
On Friday afternoon, a car bomb exploded at Sassine Square, a dining and shopping area in Ashrafieh. The blast killed 8 people including Lebanon’s police intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan, who was said to be the target of the attack.
Kababji Grill cook Jonathan Valmonte said many of their customers were eating when the blast happened that shattered their glass windows.
“Biglang may sumabog sa bandang likod nitong building na ito. Iyung customer namin, actually, nagulat sila nung nabasag ito nagsitakbuhan silang lahat. Lahat kami nagsitakbuhan sa labas, and then mga customer, iniwan ‘yung mga pagkain sa gulat nila, kasi sobrang dami ng tao dito sa kalsada at the same time,natrapik pati,” Valmonte said.
Rudy Agtina has been in Lebanon for only three months. He is a restaurant employee inside ABC, one of the biggest malls in the country.
“Nasa service line kami biglang may sumabog. nagulat din ako. Tapos, yung mga tao, biglang tayuan din e. Nabigla rin sila parang nakalog ‘yung buong building, buong mall,” Agtina said.
The Philippine Embassy said no Filipinos were hurt in the incident.
“As far as I know, there are still no reports and no confirmed reports of any Filipinos who have died or have been hurt by this attack, not seriously injured, anyway,” said Vice Consul Rona Beth Goce.
Goce said they still have no reports regarding the alleged Pinay who was among those who were injured in the blast.
“There were a lot of comments on that photo, but no one seems to be able to say who she is exactly, like she’s not in any of the hospitals,” She added.
Even the Vice Consul was affected by the incident because she lives just 70 meters from where the explosion happened.
“My windows were broken and I have a few items out of place. So I thought it was just better to move out of Ashrafieh for now,” she said.
Goce said the embassy has issued an advisory to all Filipinos on its Facebook page. Report from Rhyse Furio, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau