Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Massive Explosion In Tianjin, China

Explosion in Tianjin

Explosion in Tianjin

Screenshot by author, from YouTube

Update 3:30pm 8/12/2015 Chinese state media says the explosion has injured at least 300 people. The explosion happened at Tianjian Dongjiang Port Rui Hai International Logistics Co. Ltd, which handles the transport of dangerous and hazardous materials. It appears the first explosion is linked to "flammables" and the second to "oil".

Original Post

At approximately 11:30 pm local time in Tianjin, China, something blew up. Video of the explosion traveled rapidly around the Internet, and People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist party, tweeted “#Breaking: Explosion happened in E China's Tianjin City Wed. Huge mushroom cloud seen. Quake felt 10 km away.”

The explosion was certainly large enough to show up on seismographs, but that doesn’t make it the nuclear blast that “mushroom cloud” implies. Via direct message, Dan Kaszeta, an expert on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense, was quick to tell Popular Science that the long flash of the blast in Tianjin indicated it wasn't a nuclear explosion. Also, he said, the blasts clearly occurred in sequence, following a fire.

Here is video footage of the blast:

That explosion isn’t quite complete without the ensuing shockwave, which can be heard and almost felt in this footage captured nearby:

Video of 直击天津滨海新区爆炸瞬间 现场响声震天

Tianjin, on the northwest coast of China, is a major port and hosts a free-trade zone, which means many foreign companies have manufacturing operations in the area.

There are already reports of casualties, though numbers at present are unclear, and it appears there are also power outages in several neighborhoods near the blast site.

More updates to come as they happen.

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