Sniffer pooch detects pulse of survivor in Beirut rubble

Rescue workers used cranes, a bulldozer and their bare hands in search operations that resumed early Friday in the rubble of a building that collapsed last month in Beirut's catastrophic explosion, hoping to find a survivor after a pulsing signal was detected.

The search operation unfolding in Beirut's historic Gemmayzeh district has gripped the nation for the past 24 hours.

The idea, however unlikely, that a survivor could be found a month later gave hope to people who followed the news on television, wishing for a miracle.

Search operations first began Thursday afternoon after a sniffer dog belonging to a Chilean search and rescue team called TOPOS detected something while the team was touring Gemmayzeh, and rushed toward the rubble.

Images of the black and white 5-year-old dog named Flash have circulated on social media with people describing him as a hero.

On Friday morning, rescue workers were slowly removing debris with their hands and shovels, digging a hole in the building debris.

The more they dug, the more careful the work became to protect any possible survivors under the rubble.

On Thursday, the team used audio detection equipment for signals or heartbeat and detected what could be a pulse of 18 to 19 beats per minute.

On Friday morning, the beats dropped to seven per minute.

Still, it was extremely unlikely that any survivors would be found a month after the August blast that tore through Beirut.

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Free Press Journal