Tianjin is a large, important and sprawling industrial mega-city in China, a suburb of Beijing, home to more than 11 million people. It’s presently the fifth largest city in China. That’s a tightly compacted local population comparable to New York or LA. Yesterday’s colossal explosion in the city registered with as much force as a small earthquake and leveled / incinerated 100s of acres of parked cars and dozens of city blocks in all directions. Western reporters have had a difficult time getting more information about the event, as there is chaos in the region due to the number of dead and wounded. Hospitals in the region have been overwhelmed. I’ll be updating this post as we all learn more. What’s emerging today are photos and home video, and they are ghastly and quite shocking.
One report stated that an explosives factory was the source of the blast, but that has not been verified at this time.
TIANJIN, CHINA – AUGUST 13: (CHINA OUT) Fire and smoke are seen after explosions at a warehouse on late Wednesday in Binhai New Area on August 13, 2015 in Tianjin, China. At least 17 people dead, 32 are in critical condition and at least another 400 injured during the explosions of a warehouse on late Wednesday in Binhai New Area in Tianjin, according to police authority. (Photo by Tong Yu/CNSPHOTO/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
An injured firefighter grimaces as he is examined in a hospital following explosions in northeastern China’s Tianjin municipality, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Chinese state media reported huge explosions at the Tianjin port late Wednesday. (Chinatopix Via AP) CHINA OUT
Firefighters work at the site as smoke and fire rise from the debris after the explosions at the Binhai new district in Tianjin, China, August 13, 2015. Two massive explosions caused by flammable goods ripped through an industrial area in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin late on Wednesday, killing 17 people and injuring as many as 400, official Chinese media reported.
Smoke billows behind rows of burnt out Volkswagen cars at the site of a series of explosions in Tianjin, northern China on August 13, 2015. A series of massive explosions at a warehouse in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin killed 17 people, state media reported August 13, as witnesses described a fireball from the blasts ripping through the night sky. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKERGREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images