A toddler died of her injuries three days after the horrific explosion in Beirut that tore her from her mother’s arms.
Alexandra Naggear, three, has been revealed as the latest victim of Tuesday’s explosion that left parts of the Lebanese city in ruins and riddled with bodies.
The little toddler and her parents, Tracy and Paul, watched from the balcony of their apartment building after a fire broke out in the capital’s harbor area.
Within minutes, a first explosion struck and Alexandra’s mom picked up her daughter as they entered and she started screaming.
Seconds later, another explosion tore the girl from Mrs. Naggear’s clutches, and it took her parents a few minutes to find her in the rubble of their home.
Grandfather Michel Awwad, 60, told the Daily mail his daughter saw a “huge gray object fall from the sky” after the explosion and told her family to go inside.
“She tried to cover Alexandra, she held her daughter and tried to cover her.
“But the pressure from the explosion was so intense and she couldn’t hold her and they flew into the house.”
Mr. Awwad said he believes the toddler bumped her head against a piano or a door while her parents took her to the hospital.
He added that after the incident, Ms. Naggear, 33, “yelled at him on the phone” that she thought her daughter was dead.
Alexandra had broken ribs and needed a dozen stitches to her face.
At least 158 people died in the explosion after a fire broke out at a warehouse containing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate – a chemical used in bombs.
Officials say it has been stored unsafe since 2013 and an investigation has started.
Heartbroken father Paul, 36, said his little girl was “not a martyr, she’s a victim” in a TV interview.
The owner of the digital marketing company told the government, “You killed us in our homes. Reject your parties and unite to overthrow the system.”
Mr Awwad went on to say that the devastation caused by the explosion – one fifth of the force of a nuclear explosion – left him feeling hopeless after experiencing the civil war.
He said he has been told since 1975 that things will get better, but “I don’t believe this anymore,” adding, “This country is run by criminals.”
Witnesses said a fire broke out in a square in Beirut on Sunday night where protesters had gathered to demand the fall of the Lebanese government.
Many in Lebanon say government negligence led to the explosion that devastated entire districts in Beirut, including homes and businesses.
Police fired tear gas and collided with the thousands of protesters gathering in the center of the Lebanese capital.
The Lebanese Red Cross said in a statement that at least 63 people had been transported to nearby hospitals and an additional 175 treated on the spot.
At least one police officer was killed in the skirmishes, according to AFP.
Hours after the protests first shook Beirut, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab pledged to hold early elections while calling on his beleaguered government to resign.
On Saturday, Boris Johnson told Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun that the UK “will assist the country in its hour of need”.
According to a spokesman for No. 10, the prime minister also expressed condolences from the queen.