Chinese city devastated by explosion

Chinese city devastated by explosion

A massive explosion at a warehouse in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin killed seventeen people and sent a fireball ripping through the sky, according to state media.


The blast, which could be felt kilometres (miles) away, was triggered when a shipment of explosives detonated in the container where it was being stored, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

"An explosion ripped through a warehouse storing 'dangerous goods' in north China's Tianjin City late Wednesday night," Xinhua said, indicating the blast occurred around 11:30 pm (1630 GMT). 

Between 300 and 400 injured people had arrived at one hospital, the Beijing News reported, citing a worker at another saying there were too many new patients to count.

At least 9 firefighters are believed to be amongst those killed. 

China's CCTV aired footage of plumes of flame raining down on the city, accompanied by a deafening bang.

See footage of the explosion below. 

Images obtained by AFP showed residents, some partially clothed, running for shelter on a street strewn with debris.

Photos posted on Chinese social network Weibo showed people standing and lying on the road apparently covered in blood, while others carried children covered in blankets to safety, though the veracity of the pictures could not immediately be confirmed.

The magnitude of the first explosion was the equivalent of detonating three tons of TNT, the China Earthquake Networks Centre said on its verified Weibo account, while the second was the equivalent of detonating 21 tons of the explosive.

(File photo: Getty Images)

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