The extraordinary destructive force unleashed by twin explosions in China's Tianjin came to light on Thursday as the city counted its dead and took stock of the scale of the damage.
The blasts at a warehouse storing hazardous chemicals on Wednesday night killed at least 50 people and wounded over 700, sending shockwaves that were felt for miles. The powerful explosions brought down buildings and ignited several blazes in the area, which continued to burn Thursday.
Uncertainty lingered about whether it was safe to stay in the city, which has a population of 15 million people. Chinese authorities have yet to publicly determine the cause of the blast and the chemicals involved, although state media said managers of the logistics company that owns the warehouse have been detained. Officials told the BBC they are monitoring the toxicity of the smoke while they let the fires burn out.
Wang Yupeng, who felt the explosions from his home 15 kilometers away, insisted Thursday on keeping a face mask on when outdoors. “There’s still smoke in the sky,” Wang told The WorldPost. “You never know.”
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