A fully-equipped Greek Fire Brigade search and rescue team departed for Lebanon on Wednesday morning in a C-130 military cargo aircraft, at the orders of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis following a consultation with Deputy Civil Protection and Crises Management Minister Nikos Hardalias.
The team will take part in the rescue operations to find survivors after the deadly explosion that left scores dead and thousands injured at the port of Beirut on Tuesday evening.
The mission was dispatched rapidly, with Greece responding immediately to the Lebanese government’s plea for assistance via the European Civil Protection Mechanism.
The Greek team is made up of twelve rescue workers and a dog, along with two vehicles and special equipment for use in search and rescue operations.
The Greek General Secretariat for Civil Protection is in constant contact with Lebanese authorities and the European Civil Protection Mechanism to dispatch further assistance and support if needed.
According to media reports, an area within a two-mile radius of the port was completely destroyed as a result of the blast, which tentatively was blamed on a warehouse fire sparking the explosion of ammonium nitrate, which had been stored there by the Lebanese government.
At least 135 people have been killed; more are missing and several thousand are injured as a result of the blast.