Massive blasts at China port kill 50

Massive blasts at China port kill 50

Massive blasts at China port kill 50

At least 50 people were killed and over 700 injured in massive explosions in a chemical warehouse in the port city of Tianjin, about 140 kilometres southeast of Beijing, on Thursday, Chinese state media Xinhua said.

Shattered glasses up to three kilometres from the site of the blast, landscape of incinerated vehicles, toppled shipping containers and charred buildings were left dotting the landscape following the tragedy.

The explosions could be felt several kilometres away, even by a Japanese weather satellite. The site of the blast is a storage facility for dangerous goods, including chemicals, where the detonation unleashed a vast fireball that dwarfed towers in the area, lit up the night sky and rained debris on the city.

“When I felt the explosion I thought it was an earthquake,“ resident Zhang Zhaobo told AFP.  “I ran to my father and I saw the sky was already red. All the glass was broken, and I was really afraid.”

The injured were stretchered to the city hospitals where the authorities struggled to accommodate so many people. Seventy-one of the injured 700 were in critical condition. Mei Xiaoya, 10, and her mother were turned away from the first hospital they went to because there were too many people, she told AFP.

“I'm not afraid, it's just a scratch,“ she said, but added her mother was injured badly.  The rescue workers also bore the brunt as at least 12 firefighters lost their lives in the disaster, Xinhua said, citing rescue headquarters.

Scores of firefighters were already on the scene before the explosion, responding to a fire.
The blaze was brought “under initial control” on Thursday afternoon, Xinhua cited the public security ministry as saying, after 1,000 firefighters had been deployed.