By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
The American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) warned that its lack of fuel would lead to the death of hundreds of patients, including 40 adults and 15 children on respirators and another 180 on dialysis.
Additionally, “Hundreds of cancer patients, adults, and children will die in subsequent weeks and very few months without proper treatment,” the AUBMC warned.
In remarks seen by Worthy News, the hospital appealed for help from the Lebanese government, the United Nations and its World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), among others.
The AUBNC is “urging them to supply the medical center with enough fuel before it is forced to shut down in less than 48 hours.”
Its appeal came amid a deadly fuel tank explosion in northern Lebanon on Sunday, underscoring desperation in a nation lacking fuel and electricity and nearing collapse.
At least 28 people were killed in Akkar after the fuel tank exploded, the country’s largest disaster since the Beirut Port one year ago, killed hundreds.
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said the Akkar “massacre is not different from the port massacre.”
Lebanon still has not held anyone accountable for the port explosion despite suggestions of the possible involvement of Islamist militant group Hezbollah.
The fighters allegedly kept explosive materials at the port, charges it denies. Sunday’s blast reportedly happened during an argument over fuel. Witnesses said a quarrel broke out among some people, with one young man throwing a burning fuse inside the tank. That caused the massive explosion, which left dozens dead and dozens severely injured.
Lebanese troops have been deployed to distribute fuel after reports that owners of petrol stations hoarded fuel to either keep it for themselves or waiting for higher prices.
In Akkar, troops were distributing gasoline to desperate citizens after it seized the 30,000-liter tank. The troubles surrounding fuel added to the political uncertainties in the Middle East country after Lebanon’s failure to form a government more than a year ago.
Former President Hassan Diab resigned following the Beirut explosion, but the parties have disagreed on the composition of a new government. Diab will serve as prime minister of the caretaker government until a new government is established.
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