Beirut explosion – Dramatic moment hero maid plucks toddler to safety as Lebanon blast rips through building

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    DRAMATIC footage shows the moment a hero maid plucked a toddler to safety as a massive blast ripped through Beirut yesterday.

    A colossal explosion a fifth the size of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb killed at least 100 people in Lebanon‘s capital.

    A maid springs into action as the blast waves hit the building

    The woman scoops up the little girl and whisks her to safety

    The disaster was sparked when a welder ignited 2,700 tons of explosive chemicals in the port area, it’s reported.

    The blast flattened buildings close to the epicentre, and caused widespread damage to many others across the city, tearing off walls and balconies, and smashing windows.

    Shocking footage shows the moment the shockwaves hit one building as a little girl played in her bedroom.

    Security cameras captured the building shaking, causing a nearby maid to drop her hoover and spring into action.

    WHISKED TO SAFETY

    A second massive lurch smashes the windows in as the hero worker scoops up the child and whisks her to safety.

    Another clip shows a dad grabbing his son to protect him from the blast, using his body to shield him before taking him to shelter under a table.

    Horrifying videos of the explosion show an enormous mushroom cloud over the city followed by a shockwave.

    Thousands were injured in the disaster, with the death toll expected to skyrocket.

    The colossal blast ripped through Beirut yesterday
    Shocking images show the devastation caused by the blast

    Many people are feared to still be trapped under the rubble and inside their damaged homes.

    And a desperate rescue effort has been launched to find survivors buried alive in the wreckage.

    Shocking pictures show flattened buildings, walking wounded, and a sea of rubble in the wake of the catastrophe which could be heard 110 miles away in Cyprus.

    Toxic gases were also reported in the aftermath along with strange orange clouds, with the US Embassy warning any Americans in Beirut to stay inside.

    The source of the blast is believed to be 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate which had been stored in a warehouse without safety measures since 2014.

    Ammonium nitrate is mainly used as a fertiliser, but has also been linked to terror attacks after being used in homemade bombs.

    Lebanese President Michel Aoun has declared a state of emergency for Beirut for two weeks – and vowed the “harshest punishments” for those responsible.

    People check inside a car crushed by rubble

    Aerial images show the scale of the destruction this morning

    The blast totally levelled a huge area around the epicentre

    The scene of absolute devastation in Beirut this morning

    The blast was said to be a fifth of the size of the one which devastated Hiroshima

    This drone picture shows a destroyed silo at the seaport of Beirut

    The towering silo was smashed to bits by the blast

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