The people of Lebanon held their breaths when, on Thursday, a ray of hope emerged from underneath the rubble in Beirut.
While the Chilean search and rescue team was operating in Gemmayze, their rescue dog led them to a particular site, where their equipment then detected the presence of a dead body and, potentially, a live person.
However, the unrelenting work that ensued in light of that discovery was abruptly halted, hours later, by the Lebanese Army.
To the outrage of the hopeful people at the site, and to countless others anxiously watching the unnerving rescue operation from home, soldiers ordered the search and rescue teams to stop the operation.
The Army asked the teams to resume their work in the morning because the government could not secure a crane for support until the next day.
This was after the rescuers were instructed to retreat from the site for concerns related to a safety hazard posed by the volatile building at the site.
People were enraged and many of them confronted the soldiers, calling their action inhumane, considering the possibility of there being a survivor (possibly a child) trapped under the rubble.
Similar messages of anger and disbelief filled social media platforms as people blasted the army and the government for the indifference toward – potentially – a literal life-or-death situation.
At the time of writing, individual efforts are ongoing on the ground to secure a crane and resume the rescue operation.
Meanwhile, a small group of civilians entered the building beside the operation site, saying that they would carry on the search on their own.