Hundreds of people have been injured and at least 13 killed after a series of devastating blasts sent a fireball hundreds of metres into the air at an industrial port in northern China.
A shipment of “dangerous goods” in a warehouse went up in flames shortly before midnight local time (1600 GMT), state media reported, causing explosions so strong that they shook homes on the other side of the city and sent flaming debris arching over nearby high-rise buildings.
Hundreds of injured people crowded into hospitals, arriving on foot and by car after emergency services were overwhelmed.
“When the first explosion happened, it felt like a earthquake,” said Chen Bingzhi, who lives about 4km from the explosion site. “The whole building was shaking. I live on the fifth floor and all the windows are broken.”
She heard screaming, then after the second blast hit ran outside without even stopping to lock her front door. Hundreds of people were milling around, many covered in blood. “Many cars were rushing past us and through their windows I could see injured people sitting or lying inside,” she said.
Three or four hundred people arrived at the Tianjin harbour hospital after at least two devastating blasts, the Beijing News reported, quoting an unnamed medic who works there. Many were also injured by flying glass, and one CCTV video apparently showed an entire glass door being blown in by the force of the explosion.