7 dead and hundreds reported injured by explosion in Chinese city of Tianjin

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A massive explosion shook the Chinese city of Tianjin Wednesday evening, according to reports on social media. At least seven people have been killed, and hundreds of people were reportedly injured when a shipment of explosives that had come into the port city exploded, the Guardian reports:

Three or four hundred people arrived at the Tianjin harbour hospital after the blast, some in ambulances and some on their own, the Beijing News reported, quoting an unnamed medic who works there.

AFP puts the figure at around 300, so far:


Chinese state media reports that the initial explosion happened shortly before midnight but set off subsequent blasts. China Daily described the scene:

The shockwaves were felt kilometers away, with some residents claiming their window glass and fish tanks shattered. People in neighborhoods nearby said flames lit up the sky and the blasts with big noises blew up dust of dozens of meters high.

And the New York Times notes the explosions were as powerful as several tons of dynamite:

"According to the China Earthquake Administration’s official account on Weibo, a web messaging network similar to Twitter, the first explosion took place at 11:34 p.m. and registered as a magnitude 2.3. It said a second, magnitude-2.9 explosion happened 30 seconds later, and called that blast 'the equivalent of 21 tons of TNT.'"


The blast was so large, it was visible from space:


A number of horrifying videos apparently showing the blast have been circulating on social media.


And photos on Twitter are equally terrifying:


Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.

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