A series of enormous explosions at an industrial area in the Chinese port of Tianjin have killed at least 17 people and injured hundreds, unleashing a fireball that ripped through the night sky.
The massive warehouse blasts in north China’s Tianjin have not affected arrival and departure of cruises from the port city, according to cruise companies and a trade association.[Special coverage].
Toyota Motor Corp said windows were broken at its passenger vehicle assembly plant but no one was hurt.
ABC News’ Bob Woodruff surveyed the scene and walked through the wreckage left behind in an exclusive video report.
Multinational resource company BHP Billiton said in a statement that its iron ore discharge berths were undamaged, but added said that “shipments and port operations have been disrupted” by the blast and it was working with its customers “to minimize any potential impact”.
Oil tanker arrivals and departures were also disrupted.
Deere spokesman Ken Golden said there was no total count on how many Deere employees were injured, but some were in critical condition.
Tianjin officials said at the press conference that Ruihai global Logistics’ warehouse was allowed to store hazardous goods for only 40 days while they were in transit, including gases and liquids.
Just a few days ago, city officials visited the industrial site to discuss safety standards, he says.
The report was no longer available on the newspaper’s website Friday.
Authorities said more than 200 chemical specialists from the military had been sent in with detection devices to deal with the fallout.
There is no word yet on what caused the disaster, but calls for accountability go all the way up to China’s president Xi Jinping, who has demanded severe punishment. A blast at an auto parts factory in eastern China killed 75 people a year ago when a room filled with metal dust exploded.
The explosion – which could be felt miles away – was so powerful that cars melted and nearby homes collapsed.
An estimated 6,000 people will have to be resettled because of the destruction caused by the blasts, authorities said.
Anxious residents rushed to hospitals to seek news about injured loved ones.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said Thursday that he was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China.