Disaster Relief

Investigation and treatment in progress in Tianjin explosion

2015-8-20

A fire caused by an explosion at a container terminal in Tianjin Binhai New Area on the evening of August 12,2015. An explosion at a container terminal in Tianjin Binhai New Area caused fire and mushroom clouds around 11:30 in the evening of August 12. Strong tremors were felt in neighboring areas, including Hebei province.

As of 7:30am on August 13, 17 people had died from the explosion and more than 400 were injured. Among which, 32 were seriously injured and 283 had been sent to hospitals.

Two later explosions trapped some fire workers on-site. The search for trapped staffers is in urgent progress. Nine fire fighters were on duty onsite when the explosion occurred and two are still missing.

The explosion caused by a fire among the hazardous chemicals of Rui Hai Logistics of the Tianjin Binhai New Area Port Group. The interval between the two explosions was only 30 seconds. The air quality in Binhai remained normal according to statistics from five monitoring stations. The directors of related corporations were under control.

According to the China Earthquake Network Center (CENC), the first explosion happened at 11:34 in the evening of August 12. The quake caused by the explosion was around magnitude 2.3, equivalent to an explosion of three tons of TNT. The second explosion happened 30 seconds after the first with magnitude of 2.9, equivalent to 21 tons of TNT.

The accident area is occupied by many chemical engineering corporations. According to the official website of the corporation, the project takes up a total area of 46,226.8 square meters and has many buildings, including two garages for hazardous products.

The Central Government and State Council put great emphasis on the accident and rescue. President Xi Jinping enjoined Tianjin to make every effort in treating the injured and searching for the missing. He also called on the city to control and extinguish the fires as soon as possible, find of the cause of the accident, and punish those responsible. The city should also console the relatives of the dead and injured and maintain public security. The safety of the rescuers should be guaranteed.

President Xi urged the country to learn from the experience and focus on monitoring safety hazards and management of hazardous products.

Premier Li Keqiang urged Tianjin to put out the fire, implement search and rescue, and prevent later accidents. Premier Li also urged the city to organize professional medical teams to treat the injured and reduce deaths from injuries. The city should also publish information openly and transparently.

A work group led by Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun arrived the accident area to supervise rescue, treatment, and emergency management. Officials from Tianjin Municipal Party Committee and Tianjin Government joined in the rescue work.

Lu Yun, the president of TEDA Hospital near the scene of the accident, said that the hospital had received more than 50 injured and no dead. More injured people were en route to the hospital.

More than 200 medical staffers participated in the emergency treatment, according to Lu. Most of the injured were wounded by broken glass and stones.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.The work group just decided to suspend the rescue, as the location and the composition of the hazardous products remained unclear.