Chemical Explosion in China Leaves Countless Dead and Injured

Original  content provided by Lina Abisoghomyan

Photo Credit: The Telegraph

An image of the nuclear-looking mushroom cloud that arose from the blast site

The Players

Chinese civilians- family members have no answers about those that are missing, and have little way to find out. In the mass panic, hundreds are unaccounted for. 

Civilian firefighters- contractors that fight fighters with no military status or benefits, having parents raging over the rights of those 'undocumented'. Many have believed to have perished instantly, being so close to the blast.

The Chinese government- the government has not been able to provide a concrete explanation of the cause and the intended relief efforts to come. Security forces have been attempting to prevent any kind of reporting in an attempt to lessen the panic with martial law being declared at the blast site.


Photo Credit: LA times

Thousands of firefighters have taken to the blast site in a desperate attempt to contain the explosions that continue to erupt over the past 4 days after the original explosion

The Background

What started as a fire in a chemical-storing facility in the port city of Tianjin was unable to be contained, due to mishandling of the dangerous situation. Sodium cyanide and calcium carbide, both known to be reactive with water, were hosed down by firefighters in an attempt to contain the blaze. Secondary damage to the people in the form of harmful fumes in the air has been denied by government officials, but remains a concern. The event has reached further into environmental concerns, and mass panic on social media resulting in more regulatory measures enforced by the Chinese government. 


Photo Credit: CNN

Image of the immediate damage caused by the explosion


The Story

On Wednesday night, August 12th a massive chemical explosion followed by multiple smaller explosions rocked the city of Tianjin, killing and wounding hundreds of people and displacing over six thousand. The origin of the explosion was a chemical warehouse owned by Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics. Sodium cyanide has been identified as a main component, and the mismanagement of the efforts to dull the fire by using water to extinguish reactive compounds furthered the damage. Homes up to 2 km (over a mile) away from the blast site felt significant shock waves from the blast.