Amidst the horrifying news and visuals coming in from Beirut after a massive explosion shook the city on August 4, Tuesday, stories of hope are emerging as the people of Lebanon begin to build their lives back up from the rubble. A video that has gone viral shows a woman’s wedding shoot being interrupted midway by the blast, the shattering effects of which have been caught on camera. The bride and the wedding crew were able to escape to safety, but not without the realisation that it was all a “nightmare scene.”

Dr. Israa Seblani, smiling and all decked-up in white, was posing for her wedding video on the streets of Beirut’s Saifi Square when in the distance, an explosion was heard. Mahmoud Nakib, her wedding photographer, told CNN, “That was the first explosion, we thought that is was far away, we continued filming normally.” However, another explosion soon followed, a very powerful one. “In just one second, the sky turned black…” he said. His camera captured a strong shockwave, dust, shattered glass everywhere, and the bride and photographer trying to maintain their balance.

Here is the viral video that caught the effects of the Beirut explosion on camera:

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Bride Recalls How She Survived The Explosion

29-year-old Seblani, who is a doctor practicing in the US, was immediately rushed inside for cover. She recalled, “The area I was in – within matter of seconds – it went from beautiful place to ghost town filled with dust, shattered glass and people yelling [and] bleeding,” adding, “It was like a nightmare scene.”

She told CNN that she has been preparing for her big day for two weeks. “I was so happy like all other girls, ‘I am getting married’… I will be looking like a princess,” said Seblani, who returned to the spot where she was filming her video to mark the incident, and told Reuters, “I was wondering what happened, am I going to die?”

She is thankful to God for protecting her. “This alone makes me feel optimistic and to keep the joy of the occasion that I came here to celebrate.” Seblani, reportedly, stayed back to check on the injured people on the streets, before leaving Saifi Square.

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Grandmother Plays Piano Amidst Rubble, Video Goes Viral

Another surreal video that has surfaced after the explosion is that of an old woman playing a piano in her home that has been ravaged by the explosion. The notes of Auld Lang Syne, and that background of rubble from curtains, furniture, and broken glass make for dramatic contrast.

The video was first posted to Facebook by May-Lee Melki, the woman’s granddaughter, who told CNN that her grandparents had lived in that house for 60 years. “It survived the entire civil war… It witnessed bullets go through it… They have rebuilt themselves over and over again,” she said.

May Abboud Melki, the 79-year old woman in the video, wasn’t home when the explosion happened. But when she returned, through her devastated home she first headed towards the piano, “which had been a gift from her father on her wedding day.” Her granddaughter said the video was “a symbol of hope and peace among all of the despair.”

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About The Beirut Explosion

CNN reports that “at least 135 people were killed and 5,000 wounded,” as per the statement of Lebanon’s health minister . The explosion has left over 3,00,000 people displaced from their homes and a two-week “emergency” has been imposed.

While it is still unclear why the explosion occurred, authorities are currently scrutinising the role of a chemical called “ammonium nitrate,” which had been brought into the city aboard cargo ships six years ago. The New York Times reports, “According to the Lebanese government, about 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer was stored in a warehouse on the Beirut waterfront and caught fire, later exploding.”

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