A BBC reporter screamed in terror as the Beirut blast threw her to the ground while she reported live — the camera rolling as broken glass scattered around her.
Journalist Maryam Toumi was conducting a live interview Tuesday when her office started shaking from the initial rumbles before the main blast that killed at least 100 and has been likened to an atomic bomb.
The BBC Arabic reporter then screamed and appeared to be thrown from her seat after the deafening main blast — with the camera also thrown to the ground, capturing shards of broken glass scattering across the floor.
The man she had been interviewing, Faisal Al Assil, head of the Moroccan Agency of Sustainable Energy, looked on in horror along with another woman as Toumi was heard repeatedly moaning in clear distress.
She finally emerged from under her desk, still moaning as an alarm blared in the footage shared by the BBC and viewed more than 1.3 million times by Wednesday. Colleague Quentin Sommerville also shared the clip, saying, “All our staff are safe and accounted for.”
Another reporter, Times of London correspondent Richard Spencer, also recalled being knocked from his feet by the blast.
“I was about to hit send on my day’s copy when the characteristic roar of an explosion made me think there had been a bomb outside in the street,” he reported.
“The next thing I knew I was flying over the room from my desk, over the spare room bed, through the doorway — which, luckily, was no longer there,” he wrote.
“My entire flat was smashed to pieces, every window gone, the doors hanging from their hinges, furniture overturned.”
He questioned claims that the blast was an accidental explosion of fertilizer stored in a warehouse, echoing President Trump’s fears that it was an “attack.”
“No one here wants this to be an act of war, or a terrorist outrage. But the official version of events, an industrial accident, seemed unconvincing to many,” he wrote.
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