Parents of Canadian child killed in Beirut blast say lack of justice is 'enraging'

The parents of a three-year-old girl who was killed in an explosion in Beirut say the same people who caused the tragedy remain in power one year later.

Paul and Tracy Naggear's three-year-old daughter was among 214 killed in the explosion that injured thousands

Parents of child killed in Beirut explosion say 'pain doesn't ease'

1 year ago
Duration 1:17
One year after their three-year-old daughter was killed in the explosion that devastated Beirut's port, Tracy and Paul Naggear say they're furious with Lebanese officials.

As Lebanon marked the first anniversary of a massive blast at Beirut's port, the parents of a three-year-old Canadian girl who was among the 214 people killed said they are furious senior officials they believe to be responsible are still in power. 

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch released a report on the massive blast — it was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history — that said multiple high-level officials knew for years that highly combustible nitrates had been haphazardly stored at a port warehouse along other flammable materials since 2014.  The international human rights agency said those same officials are now trying to thwart the investigation.

To date, no senior officials have been held to account, with some claiming they have immunity as members of parliament, the report said.

A man and a woman standing in a crowd, both wearing masks and holding their fists in the air. The man has his arm around the woman's waist.
Tracy and Paul Naggear raise their fists during a protest outside the home of caretaker Interior Minister Mohamed Fehmi in Beirut on July 13, 2021. (Bilal Hussein/The Associated Press)

"It's enraging, isn't it?" said Paul Naggear, whose daughter, Alexandra, died in the explosion in an interview with CBC News. "The people that are responsible for what happened on the fourth of August are the people that are in power."

Alexandra's mom, Tracy Naggear, said the couple miss their daughter, "more and more every day," and have made it their mission to "save our country and to obtain justice for every victim."

Alexandra — a Canadian citizen, just like her mother, who is a former Montrealer — was one of the youngest to have died in the Aug. 4 blast. 

"We scream for justice, but we scream for hope as well," Tracy Naggear said.

The couple said they briefly considered moving back to Montreal after Alexandra's death but decided to stay in Lebanon to push for accountability and fight for justice.

With files from CBC's Salimah Shivji, The Associated Press and Reuters