Montreal’s Lebanese community gathered for a second vigil Thursday evening to mourn and honour the lives lost in Tuesday’s deadly Beirut explosion.
About 100 people gathered in front of Montreal’s Lebanese consulate to pay their respects, including Quebec MNAs Chantal Rouleau, Marwah Rizqy, Kathleen Weil and Quebec Liberal party leader Dominique Anglade.
“An extensive part of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, has been destroyed,” said Antoine Eid, Consul General of the Lebanese consulate in Montreal.
Officials say their focus is on the recovery and support is needed. Anyone who wants to help can do so by making a donation to the Lebanese Red Cross through the Canadian Red Cross’ website.
In Montreal’s tight-knit Lebanese community, almost everyone knows someone overseas who has been injured or killed in the tragedy, according to Lamia Charlebois, who runs a Facebook page for the community.
Longtime Montreal resident Nizar Najarian was among the at least 135 who were killed, a city councillor confirmed, and the Canadian Armed Forces said one of its members was among the thousands who were injured.
The blast flattened Beirut’s busy port area, sending glass flying and collapsing walls, floors and balconies for kilometres, killing at least 135 people and wounding about 5,000, according to Lebanese officials.
“We all have someone who is wounded, who is still not found, who is dead,” said Charlebois, who had a friend who was killed and another who lost an eye in the blast.
“The community is extremely sad. There’s anguish and despair,” she said. “But at the same time we’re mobilized, and we want to help every way we can.”
— With files from Global News’ Gloria Henriquez and The Canadian Press