The massive explosion Wednesday night with a deposit of flammable products made according to a provisional toll at least 17 dead and over 400 injured in the port city of Tianjin, in north-eastern China, the country’s poor record on industrial safety.
Towards local 23:30, a giant fireball and flames columns totaled over Tianjin, one of the largest cities in China, illuminating the sky and propelling clouds of dust and debris to tens of meters in the air.
According to official Chinese media, the explosion was part of a warehouse in the port area where an explosive cargo caught fire.
“The fireball was enormous, maybe 100 meters high,” he told AFP Shiting Huang, 27, waterfront living near the port area where there was the series of explosions.
“I heard the first blast and everyone went outside, then there was a series of additional explosions, windows were shattered and many people who were inside were injured and are out current, covered in blood. ”
In the morning, smoke plumes were still visible above the buildings in the city, said a journalist from AFP on site. Glass debris caused by the shock wave were present up to three kilometers around around the site of the disaster.
“I almost fainted”
At least 17 people were killed and more than 400 hospitalized, according to a provisional toll provided by CCTV state television channel on Twitter.
This assessment was confirmed by the official Xinhua News Agency, adding that 32 people were seriously injured.
“The explosion was terrifying, I almost fainted,” said AFP Zhang Hongjie, an injured covered in TEDA hospital, near the site of the explosion.
“I’m sorry, I have a little difficulty thinking, I’m a little confused,” added the fifties head bandaged and arms covered with small cuts from flying glass.
According to the staff of a hospital treating the wounded, most patients supported then walked away.
According to CCTV, Chinese President Xi Jinping called to make “every effort to help the victims and put out the fire,” as the fire continued to rage on the site where it was expected a worsening of the human toll.
People’s Daily noted that many people were trapped near the explosion by a huge fire.
The magnitude of the first explosion was equivalent to the detonation of three tons of TNT, while the second explosion was a power equivalent to the detonation of 21 tons of the explosive, said Chinese Center for Earthquake surveillance networks.
The trigger for the detonation of explosives warehouse is not known at present.
Tianjin, which lies 140 km southeast of Beijing, is one of the largest cities in the country with nearly 15 million people, according to figures from 2013.
Manufacturing city and a major port in northern China, Tianjin is one of only four cities in the country to have obtained provincial status with Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing.
Compliance with safety standards in industrial complexes in China remains problematic, the owners do not respect the regulations to save costs and preferring to pay corrupt inspectors to avoid too sharp controls.
In July, 15 people were killed and over a dozen others injured in the explosion of an illegal site storage of fireworks in Hebei Province in northern China.
In August 2014, at least 71 people had been killed in the explosion of a spare parts factory in Kunshan cars near Shanghai.