In the Media

Devastating Explosion in Tianjin, China

Wednesday, August 12, the city of Tianjin, located in northeastern China, was shaken by a huge explosion of a massive warehouse, which was storage facility of hazardous materials. The blast had an equivalent of more than 20 tons of TNT.The death toll has been reported to be more then 100, with the number of injured being in the 700 range and more than 95 still unaccounted for, mainly firefighters who responded to the initial blast.

As expected, the first fire firefighters on the scene of the blast used water to try to contain the fire, but unfortunately, one of the chemicals stored at the warehouse was calcium carbide. Once in contact with water it reacts to form the acetylene which can catch fire.

One of the regulations for facilities like this is that the proximity to a residential development is supposed be at least 3,200 feet away and this one was reported to be only 2000 feet. The owner of the warehouse, Rui Hai International Logistics Co., is now charged with criminal negligence and executives from the company were taken into custody. Some officials are being suspected of a cover up.

With the presence of different toxic chemicals now found in the disaster area, officials had to immediately evacuate everyone around the 1.8 miles blast area in fear of exposure. To handle the 700 tons of highly toxic sodium cyanide found in the area, anti-chemical warfare corps have been sent to investigate, collect and neutralize it in the 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) of the core zone radius.

As of now, they have yet to determine the cause of the fire that made some of the chemicals stored in the warehouse catch into flames. This incident leaves 6,000 people displaced, and many families grieving loved ones lost in this explosion.

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