Multiple explosions in the port city of Tianjin, China, killed at least 44 people, including six firefighters, and left hundreds hospitalized as survivors fearing an natural disaster fled the area amid night skies reddened by massive fireballs, sources said.
Beijing, August 13 At least 14 people were killed and 400 injured in a blast at a warehouse in China’s Tianjin city late Wednesday, officials said. Chinese news agency Xinhua has so far confirmed the deaths of 17 individuals although experts believe the number could be a lot higher than that.
About 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the explosion site is the luxury Fifth Avenue apartment complex on a road strewn with broken glass and pieces of charred metal thrown from explosion. There was the huge fireball in the sky with thick clouds.
Firefighting efforts at China’s explosion site have been suspended because of uncertainty about the contents and amount of “dangerous goods” in the warehouse which sparked the blasts.
China National Radio reported cracks appearing on buildings near the site of the explosion, and said that hundreds had been taken to hospitals for treatment of their injuries. New York Times reporter Andrew Jacobs said on Twitter that grief stricken relatives outside a hospital in Tianjin attacked foreign journalists shouting “stop the foreigners from reporting”.
Xinhua said the explosions, the first equivalent to 3 tons of TNT and the second to 21 tons of TNT, ripped through a warehouse.
“I thought it was an natural disaster!”
Xinhua reported Thursday that 12 firefighters were among the dead and that dozens more remained unaccounted for in the aftermath of the blasts.
The CNN correspondent, Will Ripley, was speaking into his camera outside a local hospital when he was confronted by several angry men who demanded that he end his broadcast and delete the footage. Ruihai reportedly handles the transport of hazardous goods.
Tianjin, about 140 kilometres (90 miles) southeast of Beijing, is one of China’s biggest cities, with a population of almost 15 million people according to 2013 figures.