Questions, fears after deadly Chinese blasts

Tianjin: Massive explosions at a chemical storage facility in one of China’s biggest cities this week killed at least 50 people and injured 700. They also raised fears about toxic chemicals poisoning the air.

Here are a series of questions and answers explaining what is known about the blasts, but also the fears over a lack of information about the chemicals that may have been dispersed.

Question: How did the explosion occur?

Firefighters were called to a blaze at a chemical storage facility on Wednesday night in an industrial zone of Tianjin, one of China’s biggest cities with a population of 15 million people.

Then, two massive explosions took place about 11:30 pm (0330 GMT), with the blasts so powerful that they damaged buildings several kilometres away.

Giant fireballs also swept across the industrial zone.

Authorities have given no reason for the fire, or how it led to the explosions.

Authorities have also said they do not know what exactly was stored at the facility, although the company’s business was in dealing with a host of extremely dangerous chemicals.

Question: How many casualties were there and who were they?

At least 17 of the 50 people confirmed killed were firefighters who came to tackle the initial blaze. Many others were migrant workers who lived in dormitories nearby.

More than 700 injured were hospitalised, 70 of whom were still in critical condition Friday, according to Xinhua.

Eighteen firefighters remained missing, it said.

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Source News: Gulf News
Image Credit: AFP