Chinese warehouse explosion kills 44, blasts was so huge they registered as earthquakes

Explosions in a major Chinese port city have killed at least 44 people and wounded hundreds, leaving an apocalyptic landscape of incinerated cars, crumpled shipping containers and burnt-out buildings.

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Gargantuan explosions in a major Chinese port city have killed at least 44 people and wounded hundreds, leaving an apocalyptic landscape of incinerated cars, crumpled shipping containers and burnt-out buildings.

Hundreds of people were also injured in the explosions which unleashed fireballs that lit up the night sky, shattering window miles away and raining debris across the city.

Twelve of the dead were from teams of more than 1,000 firefighters sent to fight the ensuing blaze which broke out in the city of Tianjin, around 90 miles from Beijing, at around 11.30pm local time last night.

The blasts detonated with such force they registered on the Richter scale and were visible from space, sending terrified residents running from their homes fearing there had been earthquake.

And at one city hospital a doctor wept over a dead firefighter still in uniform, his skin blackened from smoke, as he was wheeled past along with two other bodies.

The blasts, originating at the Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics Co for hazardous material, turned buildings in the immediate vicinity into charred, skeletal shells and left hundreds of cars reduced to husks.

According to the firm which owns the warehouse, the entire facility covers half a million square feet and has up to 70 employees.

Tianjin resident Zhang Siyu, who lives several miles from the blast site, said: ‘I thought it was an earthquake, so I rushed downstairs without my shoes on.

‘Only once I was outside did I realise it was an explosion. There was the huge fireball in the sky with thick clouds. Everybody could see it.’

The resident added that she could see wounded people weeping - and although she did not see anyone who had been killed - she ‘could feel death’.

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