Australian Isaac Oehlers, 2, was killed in last week’s Beirut blast.
Australian Isaac Oehlers, 2, was killed in last week’s Beirut blast.

Aussie victim of Beirut blast was just two

The Australian victim of the deadly explosion in Beirut has been identified as a boy of just two years old.

On Saturday night, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) confirmed that Isaac Oehlers died in the Beirut blast which has also claimed more than 150 other lives.

"We are heartbroken by the sudden and tragic loss of our beautiful boy following the disaster in Beirut. Isaac was two and will be deeply missed by family and friends," the family said in a statement released by DFAT.

"The family would like to thank everyone who has offered comfort and support to us, and would like to express our condolences to everyone in Lebanon who is suffering from this devastating tragedy.

Little Isaac was killed on Tuesday during the blast which is widely believed to have been set off by the detonation of 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate which had been stored for years at Beirut's port.

Early reports suggest the normally inert substance may have been ignited by nearby fireworks or reports of welding work being undertaken.

It's thought around 5000 people were injured in the explosion.

The governor of Beirut has said financial losses are estimated at $10 billion to $15 billion and more than 300,000 had lost their homes.

More than 150 people are thought to have died due to Tuesday’s explosion.
More than 150 people are thought to have died due to Tuesday’s explosion.

 

A German diplomat was killed at home in her apartment in the blast. Meanwhile French President Emmanuel Macron jetted in and pledged to co-ordinate international rescue efforts.

The Lebanese government has called for those responsible for storing the ammonium nitrate, a substance used in fertilisers and explosives, in the port of the capital, to be placed under house arrest.

"It is an accident … preliminary reports indicate it is mismanagement of explosive products. This is a very serious neglect that continued for six years," Lebanon's Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe told French radio.

However on Friday, Lebanon's President Michel Aoun added a new theory to the mix suggesting it may not have been an accident after all.

"There are two possible scenarios for what happened: it was either negligence or foreign interference through a missile or bomb," he said, the first time a top Lebanese official raised the possibility that the port had been attacked.


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