The French helicopter carrier Tonnerre in Beirut to help with the reconstruction

The French helicopter transporter Tonnerre arrived at the port of Beirut on Friday, where it will take part in the reconstruction work after the devastating explosion on 4 August. During a visit on board, the French military minister, Florence Parly, confirmed the “strength and depth” of France’s solidarity with the Lebanese.

The French Minister of Defense, Floris Parly, visited the Tonnerre helicopter carrier on Friday, August 14, a few hours after the ship arrived in the port of Beirut. The French military building, which was introduced in Libandix days after the devastating explosion that hit the Lebanese capital, must take part in the reconstruction work.

“I have come today to reaffirm the strength and depth of our solidarity with the Lebanese and the strength of this band that will never be denied,” Florence Parly explained, on the second day of her visit to Beirut, adding that the entire French aid operation in Lebanon had christened “Amitié”.

As demonstrations continue in Libya against a power deemed corrupt, the minister made a point of clarifying France’s commitment to the people: “International aid must reach everyone, effectively and openly. The President of the Republic (French), like all participants in the conference on August 9, are committed to it. “

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The arrival of the carrier of the amphibious helicopter complements the support system introduced by France, which has already carried out eight military flights to Beirut.

“This helicopter carrier is both a technological marvel but also a workhorse,” said the Minister of Defense.

“It is at the same time an airport for helicopters that it protects and that can intervene very quickly against the ground, but it is also a port that pulls out landing barges and there is a significant transport capacity. C finally a building equipped with several facilities including a 50- bed hospital. “

Le Tonnerre has about 700 soldiers on board, including engineers, diver divers and rescuers. It also transports lots of flour, medicines, building materials donated by French companies.

Another ship, the ro-ro ship Calao, will arrive in Beirut in a few days, says Florence Parly.

A second French death was recorded

While the toll for the double explosion exceeded 170 dead, a second French citizen was identified among the dead, we were told on Friday from sources familiar with the matter.

To date, 93 wounded of French nationality have also been counted among the more than 6,500 wounded counted by the Lebanese authorities, says one of these sources.

In France, the investigation, which had been opened by the parliamentary prosecutor’s office in the presence of French victims, was handed over to two investigating judges on Tuesday, the Paris prosecutor’s office said and confirmed information from BFMTV.

The forensic information, which was provided by judges in the specialized Poland court of Paris for collective bargaining, was opened for accounts of “involuntary murders” and “accidental injuries”, he specified.

A first French death had quickly been identified among the victims, architect Jean-Marc Bonfils, installed in Lebanon, where he was particularly involved in projects to restore buildings destroyed by the war, according to the Minister of Culture.

French investigators on site

In the days after the disaster, caused by a huge amount of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse, French forensic and forensic police investigators were sent to Beirut. Their mission is specifically to participate in the identification of the victims and the reconstruction of the events in the framework of cooperation with the Lebanese authorities.

The latter continue to reject an international inquiry despite the voices in Lebanon and abroad in this direction. UN experts have called for an independent and swift investigation and express concern about the “impunity” they claim against Lebanese politicians.

Lebanese authorities appointed Judge Fadi Sawan, known by legal sources for his independence and likelihood, to investigate the causes of the explosion.

On Thursday, the United States announced that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will join the investigators, “at the invitation” of the Lebanese authorities.

With Reuters and AFP