7 Dead, Hundreds Hurt in China Port City Blast

中国天津发生爆炸
A social media image purportedly shows flames and smoke from an explosion rising into the night sky in Tianjin, China.

VOA News,August 13, 2015

A massive blast in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin late Wednesday killed at least seven and injured some 300 people when a shipment of explosives blew up.

There was no immediate explanation for the blast, although official state media reports say it is believed to have occurred in a warehouse for hazardous materials.  

State-run media said two explosions within 30 seconds of each other were so strong they registered at a nearby earthquake monitoring station.

One eyewitness said she was shopping at the time of the blast when "suddenly from behind there was a big fireball and explosion." She said "nearby cars and buildings were shaking, a few buildings' glass all broke and everyone started to run."

People who witnessed the explosion posted pictures and videos on Chinese social media outlets showing massive plumes of fire and smoke that dwarfed nearby high-rise buildings. The videos also depict an enormous shockwave that rattled buildings several kilometers from the blast site.

Tianjin is a port city in northern China, about 150 kilometers southeast of Beijing, and is home to more than 7 million people. It is China's fourth largest city.

中国天津发生爆炸

美国之音,2015年8月13日

中国港口城市天津星期三晚间发生一次巨大爆炸,事发地点显然是在一个存放易燃物的化学品集装箱码头。

目前没有任何有关爆炸事故的说明,不过据信是一个海运集装箱内发生爆炸。国营媒体报道,至少50人因受伤接受治疗,伤者包括消防队员,不过不知道是否有人丧生。

新华社报道说,在这个工业厂房最初发生的爆炸威力之大,以至引起第二轮爆炸,造成局部震颤。

目睹爆炸事故的人们在社交媒体上发布的照片显示巨大火苗和浓烟。天津位于北京东南150公里,是中国北方一个港口城市。