Local Family’s Home Damaged In Massive Beirut Explosion

Aug 5, 2020, 11:27 PM | Updated: 11:28 pm

BEIRUT, LEBANON - AUGUST 05: An aerial view of ruined structures at the port, damaged by an explosi...

BEIRUT, LEBANON - AUGUST 05: An aerial view of ruined structures at the port, damaged by an explosion a day earlier, on August 5, 2020 in Beirut, Lebanon. As of Wednesday, more than 100 people were confirmed dead, with thousands injured, when an explosion rocked the Lebanese capital. Officials said a waterfront warehouse storing explosive materials, reportedly 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate, was the cause of the blast. (Photo by Haytham El Achkar/Getty Images)

(Photo by Haytham El Achkar/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Utah family’s home was damaged in the explosion that killed at least 135 people and injured thousands more in Beirut, Lebanon.

“It’s a lovely part of the world,” said Salah Lababidi, who was born in the capital city. “As much as we love Utah, we always feel a very strong affinity for Lebanon.”

Lababidi met his wife Veronica Boertee in Beirut and his parents live there. The couple also has a home there and lives there part-time.

They were devastated to see what’s become of it over the last year since they’ve been in Utah.

“These people have endured so much hardship over the years. So much suffering,” Lababidi said.

The country was already hurting from political turmoil, a banking crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Then on Tuesday, the world watched in horror online as a massive explosion destroyed buildings, killed many and injured thousands.

“That was devastating enough,” Lababidi said. “This is completely unexpected. Adding to the misery that already existed.”

“Streets that I would go to almost daily that are just rubble right now,” Boertee said. “It’s hard. A lot of times you just want to stop and cry, and you think it’s a bad dream.”

Their home is one of the countless damaged in the blast. Video shows shattered windows, turned over and broken furniture.

“It’s unlivable so we don’t know when we can go back,” Boertee said.

DEVASTATING: These satellite images show the site of yesterday's explosion in Beirut before and after. Lebanon leaders…

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

She said their home was about a half-kilometer away from the port, where a warehouse had reportedly been holding 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for six years, despite repeated warnings by customs officials to dispose of it.

The irresponsibility of the authorities to allow something so dangerous to be in such proximity of a high number of civilians is unacceptable. Really unacceptable,” Lababidi said.

“It’s been a hard year,” Boertee said. “It’s been hard to watch everything this year, but this is the final blow. It can’t get worst.”

For their family, Beirut will always be one of their homes. And they’re hopeful the people will be able to rebuild soon.

“The Lebanese are extremely resilient,” Lababidi said. “I have no doubt within a couple days everyone will just bring out their brooms and their paints and they’ll just get to work to fix it up again.”

KSL 5 TV Live

World News

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JUNE 19: People watch a television broadcast reporting a meeting between North...

Kim Tong-Hyung

Russia and North Korea sign partnership deal that appears to be the strongest since the Cold War

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have signed a new partnership that includes a vow of mutual aid if either country faces “aggression.”

8 hours ago

Evan Gershkovich looks out from a defendants' box before a hearing at the Moscow City Court in Mosc...

Sergey Gudkov and Kathleen Magramo, CNN

Russia will hold Evan Gershkovich’s espionage trial behind closed doors, state media reports

American journalist Evan Gershkovich will stand trial behind closed doors in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg starting on June 26, state-run news agency TASS reported Monday, citing the court’s press service.

2 days ago

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ahead of their tour of the ...

Simone McCarthy and Anna Chernova, CNN

Russia’s Putin to visit North Korea in rare trip as anti-West alignment deepens

Vladimir Putin is set to travel to North Korea this week, the Kremlin said Monday, in the Russian president’s first visit to the country in more than two decades – and the latest sign of a deepening alignment that’s raised widespread international concern.

2 days ago

The Junkers Ju 52 aircraft "Kaleva" by the Finnish airline Aero is parked at the Katajanokka seapla...

Jari Tanner, The Associated Press

Remains of Finnish WWII plane shot down by Moscow with a US diplomat aboard is found

The World War II mystery of what happened to a Finnish passenger plane after it was shot down over the Baltic Sea by Soviet bombers appears to finally be solved more than eight decades later.

3 days ago

Olympian Clayton Yong and many others took part in a 6-mile run along the Jordan River Trail in Sou...

Alex Cabrero

Elite Running Program credited for producing Utah Olympians competing in 2024 Paris Games

Olympian Clayton Young credits his success to an increased emphasis on the running culture in Utah, and a big part of that is to the Elite Run Program.

4 days ago

The Olympic rings are seen on the Eiffel Tower Friday, June 7, 2024, in Paris. The Paris Olympics o...

Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

IOC gives 14 Russians, 11 Belarusians neutral status for Paris Olympics in first round of decisions

The IOC approved 14 athletes from Russia and 11 Belarusians with neutral status to compete at the Paris Olympics in a first list from some sports published Saturday.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Local Family’s Home Damaged In Massive Beirut Explosion