WXYZ — Demonstrations continue in Lebanon as thousands take to the streets. Protesters are calling on government officials to resign, demanding accountability for Tuesday’s blast. Many are blaming the deadly explosion on mismanagement and negligence, adamant that the disaster could have easily been avoided.
Lebanon’s environment minister has resigned. Damianos Kattar is the second Cabinet member to step down Sunday. It comes as Lebanon’s Prime Minister vows to introduce a bill that will propose early elections.
Meantime, a Lebanese judge has revealed that at least 16 port staffers have been arrested in connection with the explosion.
The United Nations is releasing 9 million dollars to address the immediate needs of families in Beirut.
At least 160 people died, and more than 6,000 were injured by the blast. An unknown number of people are still missing, feared to be buried under the rubble.
The devastation hits close to home in metro Detroit, which has the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the entire U.S.
Nada Aboul Hosn grew up in Troy, Michigan, and moved to Beirut a few years ago for her husband’s job. The couple has two young sons together.
Aboul Hosn was in a car with her boys when the blast hit. “The car shook, he lost control of the car, and we just panicked. My kids were crying, they were screaming,” the mother said.
Aboul Hosn’s family is now strongly considering leaving Lebanon over safety concerns. Shattered glass was found inside her son’s crib Tuesday. Aboul Hosn says if the blast happened even a few hours later, her son could have lost his life.
She is also worried about the country’s future. Before the explosion, Lebanon was already facing one of the biggest economic crises it had seen in decades.
Because of Tuesday’s blast, “Thousands … lost their homes, lost their businesses, really they lost everything,” Aboul Hosn said.
The metro Detroit native is urging everyone to donate any amount to help the people of Lebanon. She says the Lebanese Red Cross and Lebanese Food Bank are two organizations on the frontlines, using every dollar to make a difference.