Lebanese officials ‘do not expect’ to find survivors in Beirut rubble, Russian rescue team says, as death toll reportedly hits 220

A first-response team from Russia has finished looking for survivors of powerful blasts in Beirut. They say Lebanese officials don’t think anyone is still alive under the rubble, while the death toll has jumped from 158 to 220.

“Representatives of Lebanon’s Defense Ministry… officially stated that they are no longer expecting to find anyone alive under the rubble,” Russia’s Emergencies Ministry spokesperson told the media. He added that the Russian team had recovered six bodies during its work in Beirut and treated more than 90 injured.

The Russian team arrived in Lebanon’s capital to help with the relief effort after two powerful explosions at Beirut’s port sent a shockwave that devastated much of the city on Tuesday.

Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud was quoted by the media as saying on Sunday that the death toll from the disaster has grown to 220, while 110 more are still unaccounted for.

Officials linked the blasts to a massive stash of ammonium nitrate, a highly-explosive chemical used in bombs and fertilizers, stored in a warehouse in the city’s port. However, the exact cause of the explosions is yet to be determined.

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