Tianjin explosions illustrate risk of storing toxic chemicals

“Everybody could see it”. “My home destroyed”, she said.


Crumpled shipping containers were thrown around like match sticks, a Reuters witnesses said. Officials tried to stop a CBS News camera crew from shooting in front of a hospital.

Ryan Bridge said migrant workers represented many of those killed and injured.

Across the city, residents were jolted awake as the blasts shattered windows and fish tanks.

Investigators are continuing to search for clues as to precisely what caused the explosions at the warehouse, which is designed to house toxic chemicals and gas.

The Beijing News also reported that there had been a trace of cyanide detected in ditches near the blast site.

An estimated 6,000 people will have to be resettled because of the destruction caused by the blasts, authorities said.

“I’m really scared, but I don’t even know what to be scared of, the government hasn’t said anything, nothing about what we should do to keep our families safe from the chemicals”. “It was terrifying, but also attractive”.

Shortly after the explosion, state media reported 300 to 400 people were sent to hospital in the Binhai District and the China natural disaster Center measured two explosions happening within 30 seconds, registering a 2.3 and a 2.9 magnitude. One medic at the scene noted that numerous victims were initially brought by ambulances, but others were later forced to arrive on their own after hospitals became inundated with calls.

The explosions took place in a mostly industrial economic development zone, with some apartment buildings in the vicinity.

The young man was one of more than 1,000 firefighters sent to a burning hazardous goods storage facility at the northern port.

Some pictures and posts about the blasts were deleted from social media by Chinese censors as authorities tried to control the narrative.

Police are keeping journalists and bystanders away with a cordon as many as a few kilometers (miles) from the site. Phone numbers listed on its website were disconnected and an email to the company went unanswered.

Photos taken by bystanders and circulating on microblogs show a big fireball high in the sky, with a mushroom-cloud. In another area, Woodruff entered an office building, where glass and debris littered the floor. Damages included blown-out windows and doors and damage to ceilings.

Fires that started as the blasts torched cars and reduced buildings to blackened shells are still smouldering among hazardous materials, prompting fears of further blasts. “But for us it’s a total loss”.


A Tianjin environment department official told reporters at a press briefing that all drainage outlets in the area have been shut to contain any polluted water.

Firefighter rescued from blast zone in China's Tianjin port