Huge explosions in a warehouse killed scores and injured hundreds in the Chinese port city of Tianjin, officials and witnesses said on Thursday.
Twelve of the dead were from among the more than 1,000 firefighters sent to fight the blaze set off by the explosions shortly before midnight, the Tianjin municipal government said.At least 520 people were injured, more than 60 of them seriously, the Tianjin government said on its Weibo microblog, and the People's Daily newspaper said four fires were still burning.
Fire and smoke rise from the site of a series of explosions in Tianjin. The explosion was felt several kilometres away, even being picked up by a Japanese weather satellite (AFP Photo)
At the nearby Taida Hospital as dawn broke, military medical tents were set up. Photos circulating online showed patients in bandages and with cuts. (AP Photo)
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, trucks pass a bridge near the site of explosions in the Binhai New Area. (Xinhua via AP)
Plumes of smoke still billowed over buildings hours after the blast, which occurred shortly before midnight local time. (Reuters Photo)
Flames rise as a banner in the background reads "no illegal operations" at the site. (AFP Photo)
China has a dismal industrial safety record as some factory and warehouse owners evade regulations to save money and pay off corrupt officials to look the other way. (Reuters Photo)
The force of the first explosion was the equivalent of three tonnes of TNT, the China Earthquake Networks Centre said on its verified Weibo account, followed by a second blast equal to 21 tonnes.(Reuters Photo)
State broadcaster CCTV said six battalions of firefighters had brought the ensuing fire under control, although it was still burning in the early hours of Thursday. (Reuters Photo)