What caused Tianjin China explosion: death toll going up, fire still raging
Tianjin, China: Tianjinâ€™s face has been scarred permanently. Though we are sure the city will be back on its feet in a matter of months as the burned down buildings will be reconstructed and painted afresh to give the same glowing feel as it was before the catastrophe that hit it, nonetheless it will take years to forget it.
A fire at a warehouse housing chemicals has rocked the city, destroying not just the warehouse the fire started, but many surrounding warehouses, factories, apartments and igniting a fire that is yet to be completely doused.
The fire also started blasts that ripped apart many city hallmarks, also killing dozens of people. Till now officials claim that at least 38 firefighters who were fighting the massive fires are missing. This is besides dozens of people who have been confirmed dead.
Cityâ€™s more than thirteen million inhabitants are on the edge ever since the first blast occurred in the city. Tianjin is one of the main business centers in China. It is one of the five national central cities that is governed as one of the four direct-controlled municipalities of the PRC, and is thus under direct administration of the central government.
Reports from the metropolis suggest that the reverberation of the blasts were felt throughout the city, though the area in two mile radius was completely rattled. In the meantime the cause of the first blast that ignited the fire and the subsequent blasts is still to be revealed.
Reports talk of thick chemical odor hanging in the air. Fires still burned in the waterfront industrial district where the explosions went off. And the grim toll kept mounting. As far as the death toll is concerned, at least 44 people are confirmed dead, 12 firefighters among them, state media reported Thursday. More than 500 are hospitalized, 66 with critical injuries. Dozens of firefighters are missing.
In the meantime reports claim that officials have actually suspended firefighting efforts Thursday because of a lack of information about the “dangerous goods” stored at the warehouse at the heart of the blasts, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.
A report by Xinhua says that the first fire was ignited following blasts that started at a warehouse site owned by Tianjin Dongjiang Port Rui Hai International Logistics Co. Ltd., a company that stores and transports dangerous chemicals. The explosions’ destructive force tore into Tianjin, smashing buildings and mangling shipping containers.
If the first blast was powerful, reports say that subsequent blasts were far more powerful. A Reuter report citing China Earthquake Networks Center says that the second blast was equivalent of 21 metric tons of TNT or a magnitude 2.9 earthquake.
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