Video footage shows the explosion in China, Tianjin city leaving hundreds of people injured. According to police reports at least 17 people are dead.
The massive explosion erupted in an industrial area in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin late Wednesday, around 11.30 pm local time. Local TV said the blast ripped through a warehouse storing “dangerous goods”.
Videos of the explosion posted on social media showed a towering inferno above one of China’s largest urban areas.
“It was like what we were told a nuclear bomb would be like,” a truck driver, who spent the night in the cab of his truck, told the Associated Press . “I’ve never even thought I’d see such a thing. It was terrifying but also beautiful.”
“When the first explosion happened, it felt like a earthquake,” according to a citizen who lives about 4km from the explosion site, told AP. “The whole building was shaking. I live on the fifth floor and all the windows are broken.”
Several high-rise buildings are out of power. People standing outside of their buildings and some have reported chemical gas leaks.
The State news agency reported that the fire was under control, but two firefighters were reported missing.
The cause of the explosion in China is not yet clear. The blast wave could be felt several kilometres away and injured at least 50 people according to local media.
President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang urged local authorities to make “all-out efforts” to save those injured, thoroughly investigate the cause of the blasts and punish those responsible, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said.
Reports said that there had been at least two major blasts. According to China Central Television, the blast occurred in the warehouse used by a company called Ruihai International Logistics, which transports hazardous materials. IMAGE Weibo.com/ VIDEO from iNews MSY youtube account