Rescue teams in Beirut are digging deeper into rubble Friday where signs of life were detected 30 days after a massive explosion destroyed much of the city's downtown coastal area.
Search teams swarmed to the Mar Mikhael area, a neighborhood near the epicenter of last month's blast, on Thursday after rescue teams detected movement deep within debris, reports the CNN.
Rescuers worked under floodlights in humid summer conditions to remove portions of a wall with a crane as a crowd stood by, anxious for updates.
On Friday morning local time, thermal imaging showed body heat in the rubble, while another device picked up seven breaths, according to a member of Live Love Beirut, a non-governmental organization helping with rescue efforts. The group said rescuers were less than 2 meters (6.5 feet) from that location.
Rescuers asked a crowd of about 200 onlookers to be silent so their equipment could better detect any breath or heartbeats of a possible survivor .
Rescue workers clear rubble from a destroyed building with the aim of finding a potential survivor in the aftermath of the Beirut blast on September 4, 2020 in Beirut, Lebanon.
The search was sparked by a rescue dog that passed the destroyed building with a Chilean rescue team on Thursday and indicated signs of life, said Eddy Bitar, a local non-governmental organization worker.
Thermal imaging later showed two bodies - one small body curled up next to a larger body. A listening device also registered a respiratory cycle of 18 per minute, Bitar said.
"There's a small chance that the person is still alive," Bitar said.
Rescue teams are digging tunnels through thick concrete debris to reach the site of the potential survivor. Francisco Lermanda, a worker with Chilean search and rescue NGO Topos Chile, was cautious about the prospect of finding someone alive after so many days beneath the rubble. But he didn't rule it out.
One person survived 28 days under rubble in Haiti, he added.