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China port explosion: 1 person rescued from blast zone
Authorities placed several company executives in custody following the explosions, but they have made no progress into figuring out what exactly caused the blasts.
Also, officials said about 70 of the injured remain in critical condition.
Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor is estimated to have suffered almost 140 million U.S. dollars in damages as a result of the explosions at the Chinese port of Tianjin.
Windows were smashed in buildings as far as 1km away, walls were knocked over, and firefighters were still wrestling with how to deal with the fire that continued to rage.
State news agency Xinhua reports that rescue workers are “racing against the clock to save the injured and contain fires”, 24 hours after the massive blasts.
The first explosion was huge, and the second was even more powerful – the equivalent of 21 metric tons of TNT or a magnitude-2.9 quake, according to the China natural disaster Networks Center, the CNN said. Scores of nearby buildings have had their windows punched out. Beijing News reported on its website that some unidentified yellow foam was flowing at the site.
Authorities have struggled to completely extinguish the blaze, which was still smouldering on Friday morning, and determine exactly what was in the storage facility.
The explosions have disrupted the flow of cars, oil, iron ore and other items through the world’s 10th largest port.
Details still are emerging, but Deere spokesman Ken Golden said a small group of John Deere employees received minor injuries while at work at its facilities in the Tianjin Economic Development Area.
It identified the owner of the warehouse as Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai global Logistics. The state-backed China Daily newspaper said its manager had been detained.
Meanwhile, a potentially toxic haze has enveloped part of the city, with environmental officials saying poisonous chemicals, including toluene and chloroform, may have been released into the air in risky amounts, according to reports. Internet videos showed fireballs shooting into the sky and the U.S. Geological Survey registered the blasts as seismic events.
In the past decade, around 285 Fortune 500 companies have set up bases in Binhai, which is a new growth pole in China and is a hub of advanced industry and financial activity.
Chinese president Xi Jinping said that those responsible should be “severely handled”. A blast at an auto parts factory in eastern China killed 75 people a year ago when a room filled with metal dust exploded.
“We are concerned that certain chemicals will continue to pose a risk to the residents of Tianjin“, the statement said.
Blood stains were splattered on the floors of hospitals that received injured patients.