Massive Explosion in Tianjin, China

There was a massive explosion in a warehouse at the port in Tianjin, China last night. Last count I saw was 44 dead, 12 of whom were firefighters, and many missing. You can read about it on CNN or read the live updates (sort of; last updated four hours ago) on China Daily.

Up to 50 dead now, authorities are trying to figure out what, exactly, is burning so they can better address the problem. Hundreds injured. Lots of property damage.

Yep. Oh, I forgot to mention that the president of the company that stored the hazmat was taken into police custody at 9:17 this morning (China time). Odd thing: a CNN crew got roughed up a it outside a hospital by officials in civvies for taking photos that were far less intrusive than the photos taken by the Chinese news outfits.

Lithium batteries stored there?

A lot of people aren’t familiar with Tianjin. It’s a huge place, something like 15 million people. The third- or fourth-largest city in China and the tenth-largest port in the world.

I thought I heard “fireworks” in the newscast.

It happened around 11:30 local time, which is fortunate (all things considered) because the loss of life will as minimal as could be expected for an incident of this nature. Aside from the loss of life, which I expect to be well above the 50 currently estimated, this will have a huge rippling effect across the entire world.

Tianjin was a massive seaport. Those most likely dead are the crews of the cargo ships. The boats are destroyed. The cargo on board is destroyed. Prices for goods are going up. Insurance rates are going up. Those businesses that took the risk to run goods uninsured might very well be closing shop today.

And around Tianjin? The shockwave alone took out cars, windows, and infrastructure for miles and miles around the explosion. They’re going to have to repair all that while they try to rebuild their seaport.

It’s going to be an unbelievable clusterfuck everywhere for awhile.

Mangosteens, maybe?

Several people I work with on a daily basis are from there. Fortunately, they are all OK.

Well, it certainly looks impressive:

Judging by the sound delay, this was taken a bit more than 2km away:

This one maybe a mile:

Looks surreal.

I lived a mile from this explosion 10 years ago. I used to coach tennis over near the area of the explosion. The stadium I am about to show you was being built at the time and the docks were brand spanking new about a year before I got there. Dust from construction was everywhere.

I loved the area, though. We were about 2 and a half hours by train from Beijing and could get to the Great Wall in about 3 hours or so. The regions has phenomenal sea food, some of the best in the world. You can even take a fairy to South Korea, which I did not do but had some friends do.

And, like everywhere, there are great people all around. Sad to see what happened.

I took this picture at the opening ceremony for the stadium in 2004. Tianjin FC beat Melbourne FC in a match.

Here is that same stadium today.
Here I am in a hallway at the school I taught at.

Here is that hallway(well, one just like it a floor down), where dock workers collect clothes.

This region is called TEDA and is located about an hour from downtown Tianjin. It is a free trade zone, basically. It houses a tremendous amount of business and has a lock of docks for importing. You can avoid a ton of taxes by doing business here and it is one of the largest economic regions for China.

I was treated for bronchitis in the hospital they keep showing in the news. They said it is about 2.6K away, so I apparently lived 1.6 miles or so from the blast(I lived right next to the hospital).

Sure you didn’t, your friends did.


I don’t get what you are trying to say. However, I did adopt two children from Korea in 2009 and 2011, so I have been there twice.

I think he’s making a joke about your misspelling. The boat’s called a ferry, not a fairy.

I think you mean 11:30 p.m. according to the article I read. So the workers would be mostly home asleep.

Except for one problem: The article saw also mentioned that a lot of those workers lived in a dorm at the site, which was badly damaged or demolished by the blast. So all those dorm-living workers were approximately right at ground zero, at night in their sleep.

Sweet dreams!

Yeah, not that odd about the CNN crew. As you probably know, they are trying to keep a lid on this thing…as usual. If you follow China Uncensored, Chris has a bit about the CNN crew getting roughed up by ‘grieving family members’ (who seem to be dressed in Chinese military garb for some odd reason).

Just looking at the explosion and aftermath I think that the 50 killed and 700 injured is probably going to be pretty optimistic. :frowning:


Thank you for explaining my error. Wow.

From the first video posted by MichaelEMouse, it looks like there were two explosions: on at the beginning of the video, and a second, larger one a bit later.

BBC is saying that the warehouse where the explosion occurred

Article also says there were two explosions, the second being equivalent to 21 tons of TNT, with a blast radius of 2 km.