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France: Eiffel Tower goes dark to commemorate victims of Beirut blast

Paris, FranceParis' Eiffel Tower switched off its lights an hour earlier than usual on Wednesday, August 5 to commemorate the victims of an explosion in Beirut.

Earlier in the evening, a candlelit vigil was held outside the Sacre Coeur in Paris where people stood in silence, draped in Lebanese flags. In Beirut on Wednesday, rescue teams pulled out bodies and hunted for missing in the wreckage of buildings on as investigations blamed negligence for the massive warehouse explosion that sent a devastating blast wave across the Lebanese capital, killing at least 135.

More than 5,000 other people were injured in Tuesday's (August 4) explosion at Beirut port, authorities said, and up to 250,000 were left without homes fit to live in after shockwaves smashed building facades, sucked furniture out into streets and shattered windows miles inland.
Two French planes were expected to arrive on Thursday (August 6) with 55 rescuers, medical equipment and a mobile clinic. French President Emmanuel Macron will also visit Lebanon on Thursday. Other Arab and European countries are sending doctors, mobile hospitals and equipment.

The United States, Britain and other Western nations, which have been demanding political and economic change in Lebanon, also offered aid. Germany, the Netherlands and Cyprus offered specialised search and rescue teams.

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