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At least 50 Dead as Huge Warehouse Blasts hit Chinese Port

(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan).

[Dallas , TX – August 13th]

A Huge, fiery blasts at a warehouse for hazardous chemicals killed at least 50 people  at  Chinese port of Tianjin, Thursday morning.

Hundreds of people were injured in the explosions shortly before midnight Wednesday, which sent out massive fireballs . Twelve of the dead were from among the more than 1,000 firefighters sent to the mostly industrial zone to fight the ensuing blaze.

“I thought it was an earthquake, so I rushed downstairs without my shoes on,” said Tianjin resident Zhang Siyu, whose home is several kilometers (miles) from the blast site. Zhang said she could see wounded people weeping. She said she did not see anyone who had been killed, but “I could feel death.”

The municipal government in Tianjin, the world’s 10th largest port and a petrochemical processing hub  said 701 people were injured, including 71 in serious condition. It gave no figure for the missing.

There was no indication of what caused the blasts, and no immediate sign of any toxic cloud in the air as firefighters brought the fire largely under control by morning. However, the Tianjin government suspended further firefighting to allow a team of chemical experts to survey hazardous materials at the site, assess dangers to the environment and decide how best to proceed.

– CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press

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