This Is Tianjin After Huge Blasts

Daylight reveals scale of devastation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2015 3:25 AM CDT
Updated Aug 13, 2015 7:01 AM CDT

Many details are still unclear, and the Hong Kong Free Press reports that Chinese authorities are trying to tightly control media coverage, but aerial photos and drone footage show the apocalyptic scale of destruction after last night's massive explosions in Tianjin. The BBC reports that the blasts, which Chinese authorities say occurred at a warehouse storing "dangerous goods," were strong enough to destroy nearby buildings and break windows 1.5 miles away. Residents say it felt like an earthquake, or something even worse. "It was like what we were told a nuclear bomb would be like," a truck driver tells the AP. "I've never even thought I'd see such a thing. It was terrifying, but also beautiful."

The official death toll now stands at 44, with more than 500 people injured and dozens of firefighters missing, and it appears certain to rise: Workers' dormitories in the area were destroyed, and at one of the city's hospitals, a doctor tells the Guardian they "cannot count how many patients we have received—there are too many of them and many of them have burn injuries." The AP reports that the fires are now mostly under control, and authorities say firefighting efforts have been suspended while experts monitor hazardous materials at the site. According to Chinese state media, the warehouse was owned by a company called Ruhai Logistics, and its executives have now been "controlled." (More China stories.)

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