Bride Knocked Off Her Feet Taking Wedding Photos During Beirut Blast

by : Emily Brown on : 06 Aug 2020 09:26
Bride Knocked Off Her Feet Taking Wedding Photos During Beirut BlastMahmoud Nakib/Reuters/Twitter

Terrifying footage captured the moment a woman’s wedding day turned into a ‘nightmare scene’ as the explosion in Beirut knocked her off her feet during a photo shoot. 

Dr. Israa Seblani was celebrating her marriage to Ahmad Sbeih on the streets of Beirut on Tuesday, August 4, where she posed in a stunning white wedding gown as photographer Mahmoud Nakib filmed the scene.


Footage that has been widely shared online shows the bride smiling for the camera as Nakib zoomed in to capture her at all angles, but all of a sudden Seblani was knocked from her feet as a massive explosion tore through the Beirut port.

See the moment the blast hit below:

Seblani could be seen stumbling backwards, and Nakib himself almost fell as he was pushed down the street by the force of the shockwave.


The explosion occurred in a warehouse housing 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a chemical that can be used to make bombs.

An initial, smaller blast was heard by residents, but it was a second, bigger explosion that rocked the entire Lebanese capital.

Beirut, Lebanon ExplosionPA Images

The photographer told CNN that he and the wedding couple heard the first explosion as they were filming an outdoor photo session, but they ‘thought that it was far away’ so they continued filming.


He continued:

In just one second, the sky turned black and we heard the second explosion.

Beirut brideMahmoud Nakib/Reuters/Twitter

Nakib recorded the moment an intense gust of wind created by the explosion’s shockwave roared through the square where they were stood.


Recalling the events, Seblani said:

The area I was in – within matter of seconds – it went from beautiful place to ghost town filled with dust, shattered glass and people yelling [and] bleeding. It was like a nightmare scene.

Seblani, Sbeih and the rest of the wedding party quickly headed inside their venue after the blast, and thankfully no one had to be hospitalised in the wake of the disaster.

Beirut couple running inside after explosionMahmoud Nakib/Reuters/Twitter

Nakib added:

I thought first of my wife and my daughter. I called her to let her know that I’m fine and do not go out. And I went live at Facebook to let people know what happened.

At least 135 people were killed and another 5,000 were injured, as the explosion wiped out entire city streets and damaged structures as far as six miles away.

Beirut, Lebanon ExplosionPA Images

The sound of the blast could be heard as far away as Cyprus, about 200km (125 miles) across the Mediterranean Sea, and seismologists at the United States Geological Survey said it was the equivalent of a 3.3-magnitude earthquake.

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the horrific events.

If you want to help those affected by recent events in Beirut, you can donate to the Red Cross emergency fund here, or visit Impact Lebanon here.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Beirut, Bride, Explosion, Lebanon, Now


CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    One moment, they were filming the bride in her wedding dress. Then came the explosion

  2. Reuters/Twitter