China blast: Shipment explodes in Tianjin port

Posted on August 12, 2015


by Bradley Matthews, editing by Adam MS

A massive explosion has hit China’s northern port city of Tianjin, reportedly injuring many people. According to Chinese state media, the explosion occurred when a shipment of explosives blew up at about 23:30 (16:30 GMT).

One local Twitter user, citing hospital staff, said the emergency room was caring for approximately 300 to 400 injured people, many of whom were burn victims. Another report from CCTV reporter Matt Simon said that 400 people were injured, including four firefighters, with two more firefighters reported missing.

Pictures and video shared on social media showed flames lighting up the sky and damage to nearby buildings. Latest reports in state media suggest that hundreds of people have been taken to hospital.

Xinhua news agency said a fire started by the explosion was “under control” but said two firefighters were missing.

Shockwaves from the blast could apparently be felt several kilometers away from Tianjin.

Ms Yang, an eyewitness, told local media she was out shopping when “suddenly from behind there was a big fireball and explosion”.

“At the time of the explosion the ground was shaking fiercely, nearby cars and buildings were shaking, a few buildings’ glass all broke and everyone started to run,” she said.

“Now all the residents are gathered in the street.”

China National Radio said cracks were visible in buildings near the site of the blast.

Several tower blocks near the port area are without power, reported the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

Tianjin is a major port and industrial area to the south-east of the Chinese capital, Beijing, and home to 7.5 million people.