Large Explosion in Chinese Port City Injures Hundreds

August 12, 2015 Updated: August 12, 2015

A massive explosion in the northeastern port city of Tianjin has injured hundreds, according to Chinese state-run media. State-run Beijing News said between 300 and 400 people have been admitted to hospitals. At least seven were killed according to Tianjin police. 

“The hospital cannot count how many patients we have received—there are too many of them and many of them have burn injuries,” one doctor at a local hospital told The Guardian.

The blasts occurred at a warehouse of Tianjin Dongjiang Port Rui Hai International Logistic Co. Ltd, which handles the transport of hazardous materials, according to the official China Daily. The exact materials or cause of the explosion are not known.

The first blast occurred at around 11:30 p.m. local time, and triggered fires and further explosions in the area. The shockwaves could be felt from miles away. The first explosion was registered at a magnitude of 2.3, while the second had a magnitude of 2.9, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.  

A widely circulated witness video shows huge clouds of smoke and fire lighting up the sky. 

Some Weibo users reported that doors from apartments were shaken off, and many high-rises lost power. Locals also reported the glass of their windows and fish tanks shattered, Xinhua News Agency reported.

At least six firefighting teams have been dispatched to put out the fires. Two firemen are missing, and at least four are injured according to the Ministry of Public Security.