China explosion: Fires at Shandong chemical plant

Two huge blasts in the warehouse storing unsafe chemicals in Tianjin, the world’s 10th-busiest port, killed at least 121 people, including 67 fire fighters, and forced the evacuation of thousands after toxic chemicals were detected in the air.

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No fatalities were reported in the blast on Saturday night, said the Xinhua news agency – citing local authorities, although the nine injured people were taken to hospital. Zibo is a major storage site for fuel oil and chemicals in the region.

The newspaper “People’s Daily” reported that the explosion’s tremors could be felt within a 5 kilometer (3 mile) radius of the Runxing Chemical company.

The proximity of industrial and chemical plants to residential areas has become hugely controversial.

It is not yet clear if homes in the area have been damaged.

China’s Xinhua Agency says an explosion has ripped through a chemical plant in eastern China. Another villager said the chemical plant had just gone into production and was still hiring workers. The blast shattered windows in the village where the factory is located.

How safe is Tianjin after blasts?

So far, the blasts have not contaminated surface water outside the blast site or offshore waters, according to Deng.

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Officially the minimum distance between businesses with risky chemicals and public buildings and transport networks is meant to be 1km.

State media China firm used connections for hazmat permit