A Beirut couple whose apartment is about 2,000 feet from the site of the massive explosion have undergone a combined nine hours of surgery after being injured by flying shards of glass and other debris, according to a report.
Imad Khalil and Lina Alameh are hospitalized in the same room, saying they are lucky to be alive in the wake of Tuesday’s blast in the Lebanese capital’s port that killed at least 154 people and injured some 5,000, CNN reported.
Imad underwent six hours of surgery after being transported down 11 flights of stairs on the back of a door, while his wife needed three hours of surgery, according to the network.
The apartment they bought two years ago was almost destroyed after the explosion, which Lina s aid she at first thought was fireworks set off by a small blaze.
“I told my husband there’s something wrong,” Lina told CNN in a phone call from her hospital bed.
The couple began livestreaming footage, in which Lina is heard telling her husband to come inside because she felt something bad was about to occur.
A moment later, a fireball erupted, spewing a smoke cloud amid a series of small explosions. About half a minute later, a giant blast sent a shockwave across the city.
“All I remember is flying up in the air,” Imad told CNN.
Both said they were knocked unconscious by the atomic bomb-like explosion.
When Lina woke up, she saw that her husband, who was still unconscious, was bleeding heavily from glass wounds across his body.
She suffered a broken elbow, multiple cuts and a back injury, while Imad also sustained a compound fracture in his thigh, according to CNN.
“I’m dying,” Lina recalled that her husband told her when he finally came to.
She said she tried to drag Imad to the door but was too weak, so she made her way down the stairs by scooting on her rear end.
Once on the street, she called out for help to a police officer who then rushed upstairs along with others to bring Imad down using a door as a stretcher.