Tianjin warehouse explosion: Hundreds queue to give blood at hospitals and donation buses

The blast has killed scores and wounded many more

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Hundreds of Chinese citizens queued up at hospitals and mobile donation buses to give blood in the aftermath of the Tianjin warehouse explosion.

The blast on Wednesday night killed at least 50 people and injured more than 700 others, including firefighters who responded to initial reports of a fire.

With many of those injured suffering skin trauma, hospitals in and around Tianjin issued appeals for blood donations – and were met with an overwhelming response.

Images and videos posted online, showing queues to donate blood snaking around buildings, were widely shared on Chinese social media.

Tianjin, a densely-populated port city, was hit by two blasts at a warehouse storing “dangerous” chemicals in the middle of the night.

The second, larger explosion – equivalent to 21 tonnes of TNT – registered as a seismic event with the US Geological Survey and was seen by satellites from space.

On Thursday afternoon, fires still burned at the industrial area but the efforts of firefighters were being scaled down to allow chemical experts to examine the site.

President Xi Jinping issued a statement demanding that authorities “make full effort to rescue and treat the injured and ensure the safety of people and their property”.