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Caught on Camera: The Moment the Beirut Blast Interrupted a Bride's Photoshoot

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Posted: Aug 06, 2020 12:00 PM
Caught on Camera: The Moment the Beirut Blast Interrupted a Bride's Photoshoot

Source: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

Dr. Israa Seblani, who practices in the U.S., had just gotten married in Beirut, Lebanon, and was enjoying her photoshoot when the massive blast went off. We now know that blast, which rocked Lebanon's capital city, killed over 100 people and injured thousands more.

The moment the blast shocked the bride was captured on video. Seblani is standing in her gown and smiling ear to ear, when suddenly there's a loud boom that nearly knocks her off her feet. There's some confusion and flying debris, after which we can see the groom ushering his wife to safety. According to photographer Mahmoud Nakib, who shot the footage, the couple was unharmed.

A day later, Seblani was able to collect herself to talk about the experience, telling Reuters that she is simply "happy to be alive."

"What happened during the explosion here - there is no word to explain...I was shocked, I was wondering what happened, am I going to die?" she recalled. "How am I going to die?"

"I feel so sad about what happened to other people, about what happened to Lebanon," she added. "When I woke up and saw the damage that happened to Beirut, the one thing I said was thank God we are still alive."

Her now-husband Ahmad Subeih said they're still in shock.

"We started to walk around and it was extremely sad, it was not describable the devastation and the sound of the explosion," Subeih said. "We are still in shock...I have never heard anything similar to the sound of this explosion."

According to reporters, despite her own terror, Dr. Seblani stayed to help others to safety.

In addition to the devastating number of fatalities and injuries, over 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Beirut. Authorities have yet to determine what caused the explosion, but are conducting an investigation into the mass amount of the chemical compound ammonium nitrate that was stored in a warehouse. It is the same substance that was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and is often used by terror groups like the Taliban to make explosive devices.

"I am assuming that there was a small explosion that instigated the reaction of the ammonium nitrate — whether that small explosion was an accident or something on purpose I haven't heard yet," Jimmie Oxley, a chemistry professor at the University of Rhode Island, said of the Beirut blast.