Signs of life detected over the past two days, Lermanta said, were breaths from fellow rescuers already inside the building picked up by their sensitive equipment. He said efforts would now focus on clearing the rubble and looking for remains.
“We never stop with even a percent of hope,” Lermanta said of the search for a body. “We never stop until the job is done. ”
WATCH | Beirut marks 1 month since the explosion:
The August 4 explosion killed around 190 people, injured 6,000 more and devastated entire neighborhoods. Authorities held ceremonies on Friday to mark a month since the blast devastated a city already rocked by a crippling economic crisis.
The rescue efforts dominated local and social media, as the Lebanese were transfixed, desperate for a miracle. But none came.
The crumbling building where research was continuing is between the residential quarters of Gemmayze and Mar Mikhael, among the areas hardest hit by the blast and home to many old buildings that collapsed in the shock wave. Work was slow, rescuers said earlier in the day, as the badly damaged building was in danger of collapsing completely.
“The building is really in ruins, it’s scary and there is a lot of danger for the team,” said George Abou Moussa, director of operations at the Lebanese Civil Defense.
Workers used shovels and their hands to dig, while power shovels and a crane lifted heavy debris. Scanning equipment was also used to create 3D images of the destroyed building.