Tianjin port city in China shaken by massive explosions

Aug 12, 2015 3:33 PM by CBS News, Photo: Xinhua News Agency

BEIJING - Huge explosions sparked at a warehouse for dangerous material in the northeastern Chinese port of Tianjin have killed at least 13 people and injured hundreds, officials and state media outlets said Thursday.

The state-run Beijing News said on its website that between 300 and 400 people had been admitted to hospitals in the city, east of Beijing. It says the explosions shattered windows and knocked off doors of buildings in the area.

Police in Tianjin said at least 13 people were killed. They said an initial blast took place late Wednesday night at shipping containers of a warehouse for hazardous materials owned by a logistics company.

The official Xinhua News agency said an initial explosion triggered other blasts at nearby businesses. The National Earthquake Bureau reported two major blasts before midnight, the first with an equivalent of 3 tons of TNT, and the second with the equivalent of 21 tons.

Photos apparently taken by bystanders and circulating online on microblogs show a gigantic fireball high in the sky, with a mushroom-cloud.

State broadcaster CCTV says six battalions of firefighters had brought the ensuing fire under control, although it was still burning. It says the firefighters were combing the neighborhood for possible injured residents.

Tianjin is an important industrial and port city with about 7.5 million residents, that sits a few dozen miles southeast of the capitol Beijing on the coast of the East China Sea.


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