Two explosions at the port of Tianiji in Northern China have up to 50 of people dead, hundreds were injured, thousands have been made homeless and the surrounding area is devastated. Fires were still going out 22 hours after the explosion, despite over 1,000 fire fighters being on the scene with 140 fire engines. The explosions happened within 30 seconds of each other, the cause(s) of which is yet to be named by the company in question or the Chinese government.
Both blasts erupted from a warehouse owned by a company called Tianijin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics. The company was set up in 2011 and handles large amounts of hazardous chemicals within the port. The company had been discovered to have been packing items below Chinese safety standards two years ago. Media reports inside China have said that some high ranking members of the company have been arrested.
The explosions were so powerful that they managed to set off earthquake measuring equipment in the area, which measured the blasts between 2 and 3 on the Richter scale. Satellites orbiting earth were also able to pick up the fireballs from the blast, which went several hundred metres in the air.
All citizens within 3km of the explosion have been evacuated from the area due to a fear of chemical contamination as traces of sodium cyanide have been found in the area. The citizens have been asked to leave “wearing masks and long trousers”. Anti-chemical warfare troops have been sent in to try to verify how much sodium cyanide is present in the area, which can be fatal if inhaled.
The power of the explosions has left a lot of the goods that were being stored at the port destroyed. Pictures of the explosion show shipping containers being thrown high in the air, their contents destroyed. Among the contents at the port were several thousand cars, all of which were incinerated. The blast created a ripple which devastated local homes and businesses, smashing doors and windows.
The government has sent in troops to try to rescue as many people as possible who have been trapped by debris. The military is also helping to erect temporary tents to house the people left homeless by the blasts.
However, there have been reports that the government has been trying to stop the world’s media getting near the disaster zone. They ended a press conference about the event early after facing tough questioning from Chinese journalists. Citizens who lived near the area have claimed that they had no idea whether it was even safe to go outside because of the smoke or where was safe to go and where wasn’t.
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