Shortly after a series of massive explosions rocked Tianjin, China yesterday, witnesses began posting their videos on YouTube. Now as news crews are able to get closer to the port where the explosions took place, the actual level of devastation is terrifying. Fueled by dangerous chemicals, the most serious blast had a force that was equivalent to 21 metric tons of TNT and seismic activity comparable to a magnitude-2.9 earthquake.

Reports so far indicate that the death toll is at 50 (including at least a dozen first responders), but that number could rise as there are still people missing. On top of that, hundreds of people (around 700) suffered injuries in the explosions.

Property damage was also extensive, covering a 1.5-mile radius around the port, and the videos being posted online show how devastating the blasts were even at a significant distance. Included in the damage are thousands of cars consisting of mostly Volkswagens and Renaults, according to reports, which were parked at the port and are now a total loss.

Unfortunately, the worst isn’t over for the area, as the chemicals that sparked the huge – sodium cyanide (NaCN), toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and calcium carbide (CaC2) – blasts now pose additional risks for residents and fire fighters.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Of course, property damage takes a back seat to loss of life in an event like this, and our prayers and good wishes are with all the people affected by this tragedy. But with this many cars being destroyed, the story could have a major impact on the automotive industry as well.

Source: BBC

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