Huge explosions at a warehouse for dangerous materials in the northeastern Chinese port of Tianjin killed at least 17 people, injured hundreds and sent massive fireballs into the night sky, officials and witnesses said Thursday.
China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, said that at least 17 people were killed and that 32 were in critical condition in hospital. Hundreds of others were taken to hospital. The explosions late Wednesday knocked off doors of buildings in the area and shattered windows up to several kilometers (miles) away.
“I thought it was an earthquake, so I rushed downstairs without my shoes on,” Tianjin resident Zhang Siyu, whose home is several kilometers from the blast site, said in a telephone interview. “Only once I was outside did I realize it was an explosion. There was the huge fireball in the sky with thick clouds. Everybody could see it.”