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Beirut blast: Dutch ambassador's wife 'donated organs' after succumbing to injuries from explosion

Hedwig Waltmans-Molier died of her injuries on Saturday after the explosion in Beirut
Hedwig Waltmans-Molier died of her injuries on Saturday after the explosion in Beirut   -   Copyright  Dutch government
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The wife of the Dutch ambassador to Lebanon has donated her organs after she died from last week's explosion in Beirut, according to a number of local reporters.

Hedwig Waltmans-Molier, 55, succumbed to her injuries in hospital on Saturday just four days after the enormous blast ripped through the Lebanese capital, causing enormous destruction.

She is said to have donated organs to two patients.

The Dutch embassy confirmed Waltmans-Molier was an organ donor, and said it was a private matter.

READ MORE | A timeline of Beirut's explosions and aftermath as told by the people who survived them

In a statement shortly after her death, the ministry said it was "deeply saddened" by the news, and sent condolences to the family.

It paid tribute to her "exemplified" commitment to working in "demanding, difficult or dangerous circumstances" as a diplomat herself around the world for the Netherlands.

"She was beloved by her colleagues and she will be very much missed," the statement said.

"Her death is a loss for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for the country."

READ MORE | How did 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate make it to the Port of Beirut?

Hedwig and her husband, Jan, were together for 38 years and had both carved out respective careers in the Dutch foreign ministry.

Her last role was as a partner within the ministry’s HR department, where she split her time between Beirut and The Hague.

The couple had recently returned to Lebanon after spending time at home in the Netherlands, which Jan had posted about on Twitter just days earlier.

But on Tuesday, Hedwig was said to have been standing next to her husband in their living room in Beirut when the second of two explosions erupted.

She was hit by the blast "through sheer bad luck," the ministry said.

READ MORE | Lebanese president was informed about dangerous stockpile nearly three weeks ago

The explosions in the Beirut's port area have enraged the Lebanese population, whom, prior to last week, had already been struggling with an ongoing financial crisis and a hard impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Protesters stormed government buildings over the weekend demanding answers for why such a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate was stored inside the port, which is said to have caused the blast that killed more than 150 people, and left hundreds of thousands more homeless.

The Lebanese Red Cross said on Sunday that at least 65 people had been transported to hospital as police met protesters with tear gas, while 185 were treated at the scene.

At least one police officer was killed, according to AFP.

READ MORE | Two Lebanese ministers resign amid protests after deadly Beirut blast

It comes after Lebanese president Michel Aoun revealed he had learned about the stockpile of explosive material in mid-July, but insisted he immediately ordered military and security agencies to do “what was needed".

His responsibility for the blast, he said, ended there.

"It is possible that [the explosion] was caused by negligence or by external action, with a missile or a bomb," he told reporters.