Deadly blasts rock Tianjin
17 reported dead, hundreds injured after two explosions hit chemicals warehouse; Xi calls for all-out rescue
At least 17 people have been confirmed dead, 32 are in critical condition, and at least another 400 were injured as of 6:30 am Thursday Beijing time after an explosion ripped through a warehouse in North China’s Tianjin City, according to police authority.
Two massive explosions caused by flammable goods tore through the industrial area late on Wednesday.
President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have urged all-out efforts to save the injured and minimize casualties.
Xi demanded that authorities quickly extinguish the fire caused by the blasts and “make full effort to rescue and treat the injured and ensure the safety of people and their property”.
The blasts erupted in a shipment of explosives at around 11:30 pm local time (11:30 am New York time), triggering reverberations that were felt miles away. The second blast came roughly 30 seconds after the first.
Two firefighters were “out of contact”, and another four were injured as of 3 am Beijing time Thursday, according to police authority.
According to the Sina Weibo post of the firefighting bureau under the Ministry of Public Security, the Tianjin fire brigade sent 12 teams after receiving a fire report from the Ruihai warehouse in the Binhai New Area at 10:50 pm Wednesday.
The warehouse stores dangerous and chemical goods. The brigade then sent another nine teams and 35 fire engines as reinforcement after the first explosion.
Some residents said their window glass and fish tanks shattered. People in neighborhoods nearby said flames lit up the sky, and the loud blasts sent smoke and dust skyward.
Lu Yun, head of the nearby Taida Hospital, said it has received more than 50 wounded people, and more are coming. The injuries were mainly from broken glass or stones.
Smoke and fire shoot illuminated the sky early Thursday after an explosion in the Binhai New Area in North China’s Tianjin Municipality. Two explosions rocked a warehouse that stores flammable materials and chemicals around 11:30 pm on Wednesday, Beijing time.