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Tianjin explosions so huge they were visible from space

 On 12 August 2015, at least two explosions within 30 seconds of each other occurred at a container storage station at the Port of Tianjin in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin, China. The cause of the explosions was not immediately known, but initial reports pointed to an industrial accident.Chinese state media said that at least the initial blast was from unknown hazardous materials in shipping containers at a plant warehouse owned by Ruihai Logistics, a firm specializing in handling hazardous materials.[
Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics, or Ruihai Logistics, is a privately held logistics company which was established in 2011. It handles hazardous chemicals within the Port of Tianjin, such as compressed air, flammable and corrosive substances, oxidizing agents, and toxic chemicals. The company is designated by the Tianjin Maritime Safety Administration as an approved agent for handling these hazardous chemicals. Its 46,000 m2 (495,000 ft2) site contains multiple warehouses for hazardous goods, a fire pump and a fire pond, and the corporation employs 70 staff.
The warehouse building, owned by Ruihai Logistics, is recorded in a 2014 government document as being a hazardous chemical storage facility for calcium carbide, sodium nitrate, and potassium nitrate. Nevertheless, the authorities admitted that poor record keeping, damage to the office facilities and "major discrepancies" with customs meant that they were unable to identify the substances stored.
 According to the Tianjin government, more than 700 people were injured by the explosion, many with extensive injuries, mostly from burns and explosive blast injuries. Over a thousand firefighters were on scene, 21 of whom have died. Contact was lost with 36 firefighters, but one survivor was found on the morning of 14 August 2015, 19-year-old firefighter Zhou Ti . Several reports stated that at least 71 people were severely injured, and more than 50 were killed. The official death toll was reported as 55 by state broadcaster CCTV.
Photographs and videos show extensive destruction in the area around the warehouse. The explosions were photographed from space by the Japanese satellite Himawari. The buildings of seven logistics companies were destroyed, along with more than eight thousand new cars in a nearby parking lot. Apartment blocks 2 km (1.2 mi) from the site sustained shattered glass, the loss of roof tiles and damage to ceilings. Nearby Donghai Road Station suffered severe damage as a result of the explosions and is closed indefinitely. Line 9 of Tianjin Metro was closed down on August 13. The Tianhe-1A supercomputer was shut down after the National Supercomputing Center of Tianjin was damaged by the blasts. The computer was not damaged and was still functional.
There were at least 700 tonnes of highly toxic sodium cyanide stored at the site, and leakage has been found in the sewer. Officials detected the toxic gases sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides within 500 m (1,600 ft) of the origin of the explosion, but the levels conformed with national standards. The gases were undetected 2 km (1.2 mi) from the fire.
On August 15, 2015, Xinhua news agency reported that authorities ordered the evacuation of residents within a 3km radius of the blast site, prompted by the threat of "toxic substances.
 The morning following the explosion military personnel began to arrive in Tianjin to help with the search and recovery efforts. Extra equipment, such as bulldozers, were brought in to help with the clean-up operation. Over 200 nuclear and biochemical experts, including a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency, have begun arriving in Tianjin to assess the health risks from the chemicals being released into the atmosphere. Government personnel have set up 12 temporary monitoring stations near the blast site with "harmful air pollutants" being detected above normal levels. A nearby drainage outlet has also been closed, and water quality is being tested. Rescue personnel are currently trying to remove all 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide stored at the site, with hydrogen peroxide being prepared to neutralise the chemicals.






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