Tianjin blast: Scenes of devastation in Chinese port city after scores killed by explosion

The blast registered as a seismic event

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The Independent Online

One of the largest and most densely-populated port cities in the world has been devastated by a series of huge explosions at a chemicals warehouse.

Tianjin residents described witnessing the effects of an “earthquake”, an “atomic bomb”, or a scene from a “Hollywood disaster movie”, after shockwaves from the largest blast damaged homes and vehicles for miles around.

At least 50 people have been killed by the explosion, and more than 700 injured. The two main blasts were so powerful they registered as seismic events with the US Geological Survey.

Images from the city showed scenes of apocalyptic devastation, with shipping containers scattered and destroyed, ranks of new cars torched and buildings left as hollow shells.

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A screen grab from taken from state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) footage on August 12, 2015 shows a huge explosion in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin.

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A damaged truck is seen on a highway near the site of the explosions at the Binhai new district in Tianjin

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Flames rise as a banner in the background reads "no illegal operations" at the site of a series of explosions in Tianjin, witnesses described a fireball from the blasts ripping through the night sky.

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View of the destruction after explosions in the port area of Tianjin, northern China,

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Excavators work near the site of the explosions at the Binhai new district, Tianji

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A emergency worker is lifted by a crane as smokes plumes from the explosion site in Binhai new district in Tianjin

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Firefighter's truck and other rescue vehicles are pictured as smoke rises among shipping containers after explosions at Binhai new district in Tianjin

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A paramilitary policeman wears a mask as he blocks the road leading to evacuated residential area and the explosion site in Binhai new district in Tianjin

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A survivor talk on his mobile phone at the site of the explosions at the Binhai new district in Tianjin

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Firefighters take a break after trying to put fire down at the explosion site in Binhai new district in Tianjin,

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Smoke rises from shipping containers after explosions at Binhai new district in Tianjin, China.

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Motorcyclists ride along a highway, next to damaged trucks, near the site of the explosions at the Binhai new district in Tianjin

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A man wearing a mask walks past overturned shipping containers after explosions hit the Binhai new district in Tianjin.

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A man who was injured following the massive explosions at the Binhai new district in Tianjin receives medical treatment at a hospital.

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This mobile phone picture shows people on the street in the aftermath of the explosion (AFP/Getty)

The cause of the blasts was unknown but industrial accidents are not uncommon in China following three decades of breakneck economic growth. A blast at an auto parts factory in eastern China killed 75 people a year ago when a room filled with metal dust exploded.

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