Kewanee woman with family in Beirut shares her emotions after explosion

Local News

“So I opened up my phone and I thought it was a joke. You know like, there’s no way this could happen.”

That’s what Rita Speck said ran through her mind when she heard the news of the explosion that reports say killed over 135 in the port of Beirut.

Speck, who owns The Station restaurant in Kewanee, says her cousins still live and do business near where the explosion happened.

“At first they thought it was an earthquake,” Speck said. “Because they didn’t know what to expect. and it kept shaking and moving and the windows blew out. One of my cousins, he said there was a car on top of a building. He says there were a lot of the people bleeding from the shrapnel of the glass.”

While her family members didn’t suffer any serious injuries, their livelihoods may be affected for years to come.

“What do you say? You’re gonna be ok? It’s hard,” Speck said. “Major devastation. So it was hard talking to them, and you know getting on the phone you just let them talk and you know I love you, I’m thinking of you. It’s just so far away you don’t know how to help people when they’re overseas.”

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