Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Tianjin Explosion

The Daily Mail can always be counted on for lots of quality photographs to illustrate a news story, and this is no exception. A couple photographs from the article:

Fireball: The blast is believed to have erupted in a shipment of explosives at about 11.30pm local time, killing 44 people and injuring 500 others
The explosion

Blaze: At least 44 people have been killed and up to 500 more injured after several explosions tore through a warehouse in Tianjin
Part of the aftermath.

Tianjin is one of China's largest cities with a population of 15 million. According to the report, at least 50 people were killed and more than 700 injured due to the blast, 36 firefighters are still missing. Given the force of the blast, it would not be surprising if the final casualty figures are much higher. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

The story confirms that it was a shipment of explosives which had detonated. Worse, the warehouse (a warehouse?) involved contained 700 tons of sodium cyanide. It is reminiscent of the 1947 Texas City explosion (near Galveston, Texas) which killed 581 people and injured approximately 3,500. The Texas City explosion occurred on a freighter with a large load of ammonium nitrate fertilizer

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