Pictures shared online and by state media show massive fireball and big explosions hitting the northeastern city of Tianjin. State media said at least 56 people had died, while more than 500 have been injured.Enormous explosions have rocked the northeastern Chinese city of Tianjin, near Beijing, according to the state press and social media posts.The blast killed at least 56 people and left 71 others critically injured, China’s Xinhua News reported. The victims reportedly included 21 firefighters. Xinhua also reported that 520 people were hospitalized after the blast.On Friday, one person was saved as search efforts continued, CCTV reported.According to the official Weibo account of prominent Chinese newspaper NF People, the explosions started in a warehouse belonging to Ruihai Logistics, placed in a seaside industrial zone.NF People reported “dangerous cargo” was said to ignite in a fireball, leading other closeby factories to also explode.
According to the company’s website, Ruihui Logistics is a freight-handling business that stores goods including compressed and liquefied gases, flammable liquids and solids, and other combustible materials.The People’s Daily newspaper also said the blasts were caused by explosive material in a factory container.One video uploaded to YouTube shows a massive fireball in the distance before a flash of light and huge explosion rock the building. A huge plume of black smoke then trails into the sky.
“Crap! It’s like sunrise!” the man filming the video can be heard saying.
“Fuck, it’s going to be in the news tomorrow,” he says right before the second large explosion. “Fuck, the building is shaking! Fuck, my window broke!”
The video description also states that nearby cities Hejian, Suning, and Jinzhou, all in Hebei Province, felt the “earthquake.”According to the official Weibo account for the Tianjing Fire Department, the blaze started around 10:50 p.m. local time on Wednesday evening, before an explosion occurred some 40 minutes later.Nine teams of firefighters had been sent to the place, the department said, plus two teams of harbor safety guards.
The department said two of its firefighters were missing.China Central Television (CCTV) said a local hospital had been inundated with hundreds of casualties. Sina News said Tianjing Harbor Hospital had received between 300 and 400 injured residents, while hundreds of others have flocked to donate blood.The People’s Daily said the blasts were felt more than six miles away.Sina News reported most media organizations had withdrawn from the blast site because of the danger. Authorities have also blocked access to the area.
One resident told the Beijing Youth newspaper that the streets were hazy and full of bare-foot people who had run from their homes. She told the paper that people were injuring themselves on the broken glass scattered on the roads.