44 Killed in Deadly China Blast

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Beijing: At least 44 people have been killed and 520 others injured, 66 of them critically, in twin blasts at a warehouse containing chemical and toxic materials in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin. The blasts ripped through the Ruihai warehouse, which stores dangerous goods, at 11.20 PM local time yesterday, following a fire report half an hour earlier.

Fireballs erupted then ignited more explosions in companies nearby, according to rescuers, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. it said 44 people, including 12 fire fighters, have been killed and 520 others injured in the explosions. The massive blasts were caused by combustible and explosive goods stored in containers at the warehouse, official People's Daily online reported. Chemicals at a container terminal exploded in Binhai New Area in Tianjin.

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Blood can be seen everywhere on the floors of hospitals. Lu Yun, head of Taida Hospital, which has admitted some 150 injured people, told Xinhua that the injuries were mostly from broken glass or stones.The shockwaves were felt kilometres away, with window glass of buildings shattered.The rolling doors and window glass of Donghai Road terminal station of Jinbin light railway, which serves as a major link between the Binhai New Area and the downtown Tianjin, were broken. Its roof also partially collapsed.

Minor fires and blasts could still be seen from a far distance early today.As soon as the explosion was under control, some taxi drivers and private car owners have voluntarily helped with sending the wounded to hospitals.Some hotels have provided free accommodation to residents displaced by the blast.

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