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Explosion in China Shatters Industrial Area of Port City

Image: Explosion in China Shatters Industrial Area of Port City
Vehicles burn after explosions in an industrial area in the Chinese port city of Tianjin. (Stringer/Reuters)

By    |   Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 07:24 AM

At least 44 people were killed and more than 500 injured when a series of enormous explosions rocked an industrial area in the Chinese port of Tianjin late Wednesday, unleashing a massive fireball in the night sky.

An AFP news service reporter at the scene saw shattered glass up to two miles from the blast site after a shipment of explosives detonated in a warehouse, raining debris on the city and starting huge fires.

Images showed a monumental blast soaring into the air, walls of flame enveloping buildings, ranks of burned-out cars, and shipping containers scattered like children's building blocks.

Paramedics stretchered the wounded into the city's hospitals as doctors bandaged up victims, many of them covered in blood after the impact of the explosion was felt for miles and was even being picked up by a Japanese weather satellite.

Citing rescue headquarters, the official Xinhua news agency said 44 people were killed, including 12 firefighters.

Scores of firefighters were already on the scene before the explosion, responding to reports of a fire, and at one city hospital a doctor wept over the remains of a firefighter still in uniform, his skin blackened from smoke, as he was wheeled past, along with two other bodies.

Xinhua said 520 people had been hospitalized, 66 of them in critical condition.

Plumes of smoke still billowed over buildings hours after the blast, which occurred shortly before midnight local time.

Communist Party newspaper the People's Daily said in a social media post that there were people trapped by the fire, but CCTV said efforts to put out the blaze had been suspended as it was not clear what dangerous items remained in the storage facility.

Specialized anti-chemical warfare troops were being sent to the site, the broadcaster added.

It was not clear what caused the shipment of explosives to detonate inside a storage container.

The magnitude of the first explosion was the equivalent of detonating three tons of TNT, said the China Earthquake Networks Center, followed by a second blast equal to 21 tons.

Police took into custody the head of the company involved, Tianjin Dongjiang Port Rui Hai International Logistics, local authorities said.

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At least 44 people were killed and more than 500 injured when a series of enormous explosions rocked an industrial area in the Chinese port of Tianjin late Wednesday, unleashing a massive fireball in the night sky.
explosion, china, shatters, port, city
360
2015-24-13
Thursday, 13 Aug 2015 07:24 AM
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