12 firefighters among 44 killed in Tianjin explosions

Story Highlights:

  • Death toll rises to 44, including 12 firefighters
  • President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang urge all-out efforts to save injured in blast
  • Tianjin police say the blast occurred at a warehouse of a logistics company

Updated: 2015-08-13 17:54

2,748 imported Volkswagen vehicles burned

Volkswagen vehicles are burned after blasts in Tianjin. [Photo/ifeng.com]

A total of 2,748 imported Volkswagen vehicles parked at a port adjoining the blasts scene were burned in Binhai New Area of Tianjin, China Business News reported on Thursday.

The damaged vehicles include 391 Beetles, 770 Multivans, 84 Ups, 114 Golf Variants, 28 Magotans, 39 Sports Vans, 257 Tiguan and 1,065 Touaregs.

Updated: 2015-08-13 16:12

State-level rescue team against NBC weapons rush to help rescue mission

Emergency supplies are rushed to the blast site.

A State-level rescue team against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (NBC weapons) from Beijing left for Tianjin at 11:00 am on Thursday to help handle the hazardous chemicals. The team consists of 214 officers and soldiers from Beijing military area.

Updated: 2015-08-13 15:25

Emergency monitoring of air quality in Tianjin

Residents near the blast site carry their baggage in an orderly evacuation in North China's Tianjin on Aug 13, 2015. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/ China Daily]

Tianjin has installed 12 temporary monitoring stations near the blast site in Binhai New Area to monitor the air quality after the series of explosions, in which some pollutants like toluene exceeded the national standards, Tianjin Daily reported.

The samples collected at 5:30 am on Thursday showed that the concentration of toluene,widely used as an industrial feedstock and as a solvent, has reached 3.7 milligrams per cubic meter in the air, higher than the national standard of 2.4 milligrams per cubic meter, the report said.

Besides, the concentration of volatile organic compounds and major air pollutants, were 5.7 milligrams per cubic meter, also exceeding the Tianjin municipal standards (2.0 milligrams per cubic meter).

But other major air pollutants under regular supervision like sulfur dioxide, carbon oxide, and PM2.5 and PM10 particulate matter did not see a rise in concentrations as of 11 am).

The drainage outlet to the sea has been closed and the environmental authority is conducting an investigation into water quality, the report said.

Updated: 2015-08-13 15:02

Ruihai employee: I have no training on hazardous chemical substance

A stevedore from Ruihai Logistics Co Ltd, the company responsible for the safe handling of dangerous goods at the port, told a reporter from cnr.cn that he dodged the blast as he was out to buy snacks for his colleagues and himself.

He said he has never had any training on how to deal with hazardous chemical substance.

Updated: 2015-08-13 14:50

Lives, property must be prioritized: Police chief

China's Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun arrived at the blast site in Tianjin to direct rescue operations and visit the wounded, making the first priority to ensure the security of the people's lives and property.

Guo arrived in Tianjin at about 5:00 am on Thursday and immediately went to the blast spot. He said the blast has caused serious casualties and great concern from Chinese leaders and people.

Authorities must "convene every resource available and take every measure that can be taken" for the rescue and emergency handling, Guo said.

Guo paid a visit to the wounded in hospitals and asked medical staff to spare no efforts in relieving their pain and to cure them as soon as possible.

Updated: 2015-08-13 13:18

44 dead, including 12 firefighters

As of 12:00 pm, death toll has risen to 44, including 12 firefighters. About 520 have been admitted in hospital, among which 66 people are severely injured.


Updated: 2015-08-13 13:28

Aerial view of Tianjin blast site

The photo taken by an unmanned aerial vehicle at 11:00 am on Thursday shows the site reduced to debris after explosions at the Binhai New Area in Tianjin, China. [Photo/video.sina.com.cn]

Updated: 2015-08-13 12:57

Supercomputer Tianhe-1A shut down due to Tianjin blasts

Machines of supercomputer Tianhe-1 have been manually paused due to safety concerns after the blasts in Tianjin, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The outside wall and the glass of the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin where Tianhe-1 (means Milk Way) is located have been damaged in the blasts.

Xinhua said the center was only several kilometers away from the exploded spot. Tianhe-1 was operating fine when Liu Guangming, director of the center and other staff members rushed to the operating room. But they stopped the machines out of concerns for safety.

Liu told Xinhua the machines will be switched back under the arrangement of local government.

Supercomputing experts of Changsha Center in Hunan province said the decision of pause may be made concerning the rising temperature in the machine room after the blasts. The pause may temporarily impact cloud computing and data analysis for projects such as biological medicine, genetic engineering and the weather forecast of Tianjin.

The National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, established in 2009, was installed with Tianhe-1A System, which was ranked No 1 in 2010 among the world’s top 500 supercomputers. The center is one of the few institutes across the world that has supercomputers that can do thousands of trillion operations per second.

Updated: 2015-08-13 12:48

Residential building damaged in blasts

The photo collage shows the penthouse of a high-rise residence damaged after the explosion in Tianjin on Wednesday night.

Updated: 2015-08-13 12:41

11 firefighters confirmed dead, dozens missing

Tianjin fire department have confirmed that at least 11 firefighters have been killed, with another 30 still missing, as they were hit by secondary blasts during the rescue operation in the explosions at the warehouses of Tianjin port on Thursday.

The first explosion at a warehouse of chemical materials came at around 11:20 pm on Wednesday, followed by a number of blasts, the new office of the Tianjin Binhai New Area said on its official blog.

The secondary blast caused heavy casualties to the firefighters who were carrying out search and rescue work and fighting the fire, leaving at least 11 dead and another 30 missing, according to the fire department under the Tianjin police. Read more...


Updated: 2015-08-13 12:28

Temporary tents set up for the evacuees from Tianjin blasts

Updated: 2015-08-13 12:11

PLA launches aerial surveillance over Tianjin explosion sites

Legal Evening News takes an arial view of the blast site.

Tianjin Garrison of the PLA has sent helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance and is studying a rescue plan following blasts and secondary explosions on Thursday, jz.81.cn, a website affiliated with PLA Daily reported.

Tianjin fire station sent 35 fire fighting trucks with nine squadrons and three specialized fire-fighting detachments to the fire scene at 23:06 pm of Wednesday, after receiving report at 22:50 pm.

At 23:30 pm, the first explosion occurred at the fire scene. The last explosion occurred at around 2 am, according to Tianjin Garrison of the PLA.

Rescue operation at the blast site has been suspended and will resume after a close check of the site, the Ministry of Public Security said at 10:00 am Thursday.

Updated: 2015-08-13 11:35

Donors rush to donate blood

People line up to donate blood.

More than 100 people in Tianjin had registered for blood donation as of Thursday morning after the city was hit by a series of massive blasts that caused heavy casualties on Wednesday night.

The center said on its official Weibo account that it has made adequate preparations to provide blood in case of emergency for the injured, and its employees who were on leave were also called to post.

Some blood donors started to queue outside the center as early as 2:30 am on Thursday before the center opened, it said.

Updated: 2015-08-13 11:23

Tianjin port stocks normalize after blasts

File photo

The stock of Tianjin Port picked up on Thursday morning after a slump of more than six percent following the deadly blasts in a warehouse in the port area in the Northern Chinese port city of Tianjin.

The explosions have killed at least 17 and injured scores of people on Wednesday night near the port area, the largest port in Northern China.

After a steep fall at the opening of the market on Thursday, the stock price of Tianjin Port picked up and tumbled around a loss of three to four percent in the morning.

The company said in an announcement that the port is operating normally. It confirmed that the warehouse of hazardous materials which exploded on Wednesday night is located in the company's international logistics center, and the company is estimating the damages and losses and will release information in a timely manner.

Updated: 2015-08-13 11:24

Air quality worsens after explosion in Tianjin

Premier Li Keqiang urged local authorities to release the related information timely to the public on Thursday after huge blasts hit warehouses in Tianjin at midnight of Wednesday.

Rumors are circulating online that the explosion of the chemical materials piled in the warehouse may have severely polluted the air and may be poisonous.

Currently, Tianjin municipal authority has not released any special alerts on air quality after the blast.

The real-time air quality data showed the air quality index of the two monitoring stations near the blast site were around 160, or moderate pollution, the third-highest level in the six-tiered air quality system, according to the data from municipal air quality monitoring website at 9 am.

The average concentration of PM2.5, the airborne pollutants with a diameter of 2.5 microns, increased quickly, from 76 micrograms per cubic meter to 117 micrograms per cubic meter in the past 24 hours in a nearby station, the website showed.

Another airborne pollutant PM10 saw the average concentration increased from 129 micrograms per cubic meter in the past 24 hours to 206, it said.

Updated: 2015-08-13 11:20

Witness accounts of the explosion

A female resident, surnamed Zhang, who lives a 10-minute-drive from the site of the explosion, told sohu.com that she was looking after her child at home when a strong light appeared outside, making the night sky as bright as it was in the daytime.

She thought it was thunder and bad weather. She didn’t realize it was a huge explosion until she then heard two loud bangs, felt the house shake and saw flames and a mushroom cloud through the window.

She said some friends told her the explosion had led to the leakage of toxic gases and suggested she close the doors and windows and avoid going out. But Zhang said she didn’t smell any odor.

Male resident Tian, who lives two or three kilometers away from the site of the explosion, said small pieces of iron and stones kept dropping 10 minutes after the explosion. “There are also unidentified fireballs falling from time to time,” Tian was quoted as saying by sohu.com.

Updated: 2015-08-13 11:19

Blast has no influence on air quality in Beijing

Beijing denied the rumors that the Tianjin blast influenced air quality in the capital, saying the pollutants would flow to the southeast to the Bohai Sea on Thursday.

The capital currently experiences wind from the southwest and west, and Tianjin is located in the southeastern direction so the pollutants from the blast will go to the Bohai sea, thus having no influence on the capital, the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau said on Thursday.

Besides, the monitoring stations located in the southeastern region, in the direction of Tianjin have not detected any abnormal situation in the air quality or sudden rise of air pollutants on Thursday morning after the blast.

All the major air pollutants indexes are at normal levels, according to the official statement released on the bureau’s official microblog account.

Updated: 2015-08-13 11:11

Doctors rush from Beijing to Tianjin

National Health and Family Planning Commission asked Beijing Jishuitan Hospital to send three chief doctors from traumatic orthopedics, burn department and general surgery department at 4:00 am to help the victims in Tianjin. Zhu Shiwen, Chen Xin and Zhao Peixu set out at 5:30 am to the port city.

Updated: 2015-08-13 11:01

Medical help for blast victims underway

The country's top health authority is busy with providing a medical response to the blasts, which occurred at a warehouse in the north China port city of Tianjin on Wednesday night.

So far, the explosions have killed 17 people and injured hundreds as of Thursday morning, according to rescuers.

Medics specializing in blast injury and burns from Beijing have arrived in Tianjin and are treating the injured. The commission is also collecting drugs and medical appliances to be sent to Tianjin for disaster relief.

Also, health authorities are calling for blood donations for medical relief. Besides the 15 blood donation outlets in Tianjin, the commission has been transferring blood donations from neighboring areas to the city as well.

Updated: 2015-08-13 10:15

42 bodies in hospital - Beijing News

Forty-two bodies from the blast site in Binhai New Area have been moved to Teda hospital in North China's Tianjin municipality, according to the head of the hospital's funeral services, Beijing News reported. Although the news hasn't been officially confirmed yet.

Updated: 2015-08-13 10:10

36 firefighters missing from blasts

Thirty-six firefighters were missing and another 33 fighters were injured as they were hit by a secondary blast on Thursday during the rescue and fire extinguishing process in the port of Tianjin, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement.

The blasts were initiated by a first explosion at a warehouse of chemical materials at the Tianjin port at around 11:20 pm on Wednesday, followed by a number of blasts later on, killing at least 17 people and causing extensive damage to infrastructure nearby, the new office of the Tianjin Binhai New Area said on its official micro blog.

Updated: 2015-08-13 09:54

Port open, metro closed

Port is working fine, Tianjin major metro line closed, emergency buses put into use, according to Xinhua.

Updated: 2015-08-13 09:46

Explosions shake buildings, shatter glasses

Residents near the accident site say the waves of explosion broke the doors and windows.

A woman who lives less than 700 meters on the south to the explosion said: "My ceiling lamp in the living room was blown away. The wooden door to the balcony was crushed to pieces."

The water supply has been cut. Many residents have been evacuated over worries of hazardous chemical substances in the air.

According to another resident who lives about two kilometers from the scene, the pieces of the glass from some buildings fell on the ground and many people are hurt and bleeding. A large number of residents ran out of their houses after the ground started shaking.

Updated: 2015-08-13 09:30

Injured people receive treatment

Injured migrant workers wait for further treatment at Gangkou hospital in Tianjin,August 13, 2015.

Updated: 2015-08-13 09:17

Company chief arrested

Beijing News said chief of the company that stored hazardous material has been taken into police custody.

Updated: 2015-08-13 09:00

6 firefighters killed, some 20 missing

Six firefighters are confirmed dead while some 20 are missing after the twin explosions rocked the port city, according to Beijing News.

Updated: 2015-08-13 08:59

Video: Explosions rock Chinese city of Tianjin

The first blast happened at 11:34:06 pm on Aug 12, equivalent of three-ton of TNT bombs, and the second explosion happened 30 seconds later, equivalent of 21-ton TNT blast, according to the wave recording data from China Earthquake Administration.

Updated: 2015-08-13 08:56

Tianjin blasts turn 1,000 cars into ash

Smoke rises over damaged containers and cars after a huge explosion rocked the port city of Tianjin, August 13, 2015.

Thousands of vehicles in a logistics park were destroyed during huge explosions late on Wednesday in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin.

The automobile logistics center, located near Tianjin port, the largest in Northern China, offers temporary parking after cars arrive at the port and wait for pickup.



Updated: 2015-08-13 08:30

Satellite map shows blast site

Tianjin, a city of more than 15 million people, is about 120 km from Beijing. 

Satellite map shows a residential community which has 5,617 households is only 700 meters away from the blast site.

Before and after satellite photos of the blast site.

Flames caused by the explosions in Binhai New Area in North China's Tianjin municipality were visible from a Japanese satellite in the space.

Updated: 2015-08-13 08:23

Leaders urge rescue efforts


A view of the scene of the blast. [Photo by Shan Haihan/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have urged all-out efforts to save the injured and minimize casualties in the Tianjin blast.

Updated: 2015-08-13 08:12

Blasts knock off doors, electricity

The blasts destroyed offices of five or six logistic companies, seven or eight fire engines and left at least three firefighters dead. Voices can still be heard of some firefighters through the intercom at the destroyed fire engines.

Updated: 2015-08-13 07:49

At least three firefighters killed

The blasts destroyed offices of five or six logistic companies, seven or eight fire engines and left at least three firefighters dead. Voices can still be heard of some firefighters through the intercom at the destroyed fire engines.

Updated: 2015-08-13 07:44

Warehouse stores dangerous chemical goods

According to the Sina Weibo post of the firefighting bureau under the Ministry of Public Security, The Tianjin firebrigade sent 12 teams after receiving fire report from Ruihai warehouse at the Binhai New Area at 10:50 pm Wednesday, which stores dangerous and chemical goods.

Updated: 2015-08-13 07:27

Explosions kill 17

Seventeen people have been confirmed dead, 32 are in critical condition, at least another 400 injured as of 6:30 am Thursday after an explosion ripped through a warehouse in Tianjin City, according to police authority.