Aug 13, 2015- Tianjin, China– Massive explosions, accompanied by fires rocked the important port city of Tianjin in China today, with reports of at least 44 fatalities and several hundred more injured. More than 500 people have been hospitalized.
The first explosion took place in a chemical storage warehouse, where hazardous goods were stored, according to local officials. The blast was so loud that it could be heard miles away and had the intensity of a small earthquake! A resident of a building about 4 kms away said she felt her own building shake violently. She thought it was an earthquake but when she came outside the building, realized that it was an explosion some distance away.
The warehouse reportedly belonged to a company by the name of Dongjiang Port Rui Hai International Logistics Co. Ltd. Though firefighters arrived immediately at the scene, firefighting operations were suspended due to a suspicion that the vapors emanating from the warehouse after the explosion and fire were highly toxic. Not much was known about the exact nature of the hazardous and dangerous goods stored at the warehouse, says Xinhua news. About 12 firefighters themselves were killed while fighting the blaze according to Xinhua.
This seems to be one of the biggest disasters yet in China so far. Following is a tweet from China.org.cn
— China.org.cn (@chinaorgcn) August 13, 2015
The entire incident once again underscores the importance of chemical warehouse safety, which is one of the most essential factors today in preventing such accidents, especially when said chemicals are dangerous goods such as explosive or toxic or environmentally unfriendly.