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Explosions hit China’s Port of Tianjin, killing more than 100

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Chemical Plant Explosion in China

Chemical Plant Explosion in China. Photo Twitter.

On 12 August 2015, an explosion, which was believed to consist of two separate blasts occurred at a petrol storage station in the Chinese city of Tianjin, a city of about 11.5 million people, in the Port of Tianjin in the Binhai New Area. The cause of the explosion is currently unknown, but media reports that it is most likely to be an industrial accident. Later, an AP story on MSN stated in an update that the initial blast, at least, was from hazardous and dangerous unspecified materials in shipping containers at a plant warehouse for a logistics company, named Ruihai Logistics according to state sources.

The Port of Tianjin in China. Map by Arrorro.
The Port of Tianjin in China. Map by Arrorro.

Initial reports on deaths stated that more than 100 were killed.

Earlier reports suggested that hundreds of people were injured in the blast, which was felt several miles away and which registered as a magnitude 2.3 and 2.9 earthquake on seismic scales. The smoke column resulting from the explosion was hundreds of meters high. According to the Beijing News and the official People’s Daily and Chinese state TV, at least 300-400 people were taken to the Tianjin Harbour Hospital; ambulances and emergency rooms were overwhelmed, and many had extensive injuries, mostly burns and explosive blast injuries. Over a thousand firefighters were on scene, 12 of whom have died.

The China Earthquake Networks Centre reported the first and second blasts as being the equivalent of 3 and 21 tons of TNT respectively.

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