Nadine Nassib Njeim, a Lebanese actress and 2014 Miss Lebanon winner, has come out of a six-hour operation after sustaining injuries as a result of the devastating blast that ripped through Beirut on Tuesday.
Her injuries were first announced early on Wednesday morning by her sister Rima Njeim. "To everyone asking me about Nadine Nassib Njeim who wants to be reassured, I apologise that I am relaying concerning news," she wrote. "Nadine was hurt by the blast, she underwent a long surgery that lasted six hours, but is currently better."
Nadine herself confirmed the news on Instagram hours later. Posting a video of her destroyed apartment, she expressed her gratitude and relief for having survived the ordeal.
She said she was home alone watching television on a couch located beside the window when the blast ripped through her apartment. "I thank God for giving me a second chance,” she wrote in the accompanying post.
“The explosion was close and the scene is not the way people describe it. Whoever enters the house and sees blood everywhere would think I didn't make it."
Footage from Nadine Nassib Njeim's house:
Njeim went on to describe her terrifying escape from the wreckage, saying it was only because of the trademark kindness of Lebanese strangers that she managed to reach a hospital.
“Thank God a thousand times for giving me the strength to go down 22 floors barefoot and soaked in blood. People injured, dead, broken cars, people screaming and crying.
"I stopped a car and I begged him to help me. He was a good man and took me to the hospital where they refused to take me in because they were packed with the injured,” she said.
“Then he took me to Al Mashreq Hospital where they gave me first aid and then I underwent a six-hour operation because half of my face and body was bruised.
"But what I saw on the ground is hard to describe, as if it were a nuclear bomb. Thank you God for protecting me and my children who weren't home. I thank God every second. May God have mercy on the fallen, may God protect the injured."
A number of colleagues jumped online to rally around Njeim.
“Alhamdulillah for the safety of you and Lebanon," wrote Egyptian actress Sawsan Badr. "The people of Lebanon are brave and this challenge shall pass and Lebanon will return shining."
Lebanese actress Ward El Khal added: "I don't have your number so I can't call you to see if you are okay," she said. "No words can express our tragedy."
Njeim is one of a number of celebrities whose homes were damaged by the explosion.
Nathalie Fanj speaks of trauma
Lebanese social media influencer Nathalie Fanj has shared footage of her home, which was badly damaged by the blast. In a series of Instagram stories, she shared how she left her home with her two children. Her husband was not with her at the time of the explosion.
"Thank you for your messages, we were in the house when it happened for those who are asking, but thank God we are all fine," she said. "The question is how am I going to explain what happened to my traumatised kids. We went down 13 floors barefoot and they had to see people dying on the streets. I am still under shock, I don't know what to say."
Fanj also posted images of her high rise apartment with walls caved in and glass panels smashed.
Lebanese pop star Elissa has also confirmed that her home was severely damaged by the blast. “My heart is broken. What’s happened to my country saddened me,” she said. "My house has been completely wrecked but this is not important. What is important is that I pray to God to protect Lebanon.”
On Wednesday afternoon the confirmed death toll from the blast was at least 100 according to the Red Cross, with more than 100 more people reportedly missing and 300,000 left homeless.
Follow The National's live blog for the latest updates from Beirut.