Tianjin explosion: 'Seven killed, hundreds injured' as multiple blasts rock Chinese city
China's northern port city of Tianjin has been rocked by multiple huge explosions, reportedly killing at least seven people and injuring 300 to 400 people.
The explosions reportedly began at around 11:30pm (4:30pm GMT) in the Tianjin Binhai New Development Zone.
NEW DETAILS: Fire dept says began at 10:50pm local. 2 explosions followed with 30 secs of each other. (1) pic.twitter.com/TcaMVoe5fO— Matt Simon (@MSimonTV) August 12, 2015
The state-run Beijing News said that between 300 and 400 people had been admitted to hospitals in the city, east of Beijing. It said the explosion shattered windows and knocked off doors of buildings in the area. A doctor told Radio Television Hong Kong that area hospitals were flooded with patients, many with severe burns.
Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported that the fire had been brought under control. It said four firefighters were injured and that contact had been lost with two more.
The official China Daily said the explosion occurred in a warehouse for dangerous materials, and that the logistics company running the warehouse had proper approval for the business.
Police in Tianjin said an initial blast took place in shipping containers at the warehouse for hazardous materials. The official Xinhua News agency said an initial explosion triggered other blasts at nearby businesses.
The National Earthquake Bureau reported two major blasts before midnight, the first with an equivalent of three tons of TNT, and the second with the equivalent of 21 tons.
It is not yet known what caused the explosion, but videos from the scene show a dramatic fireball exploding near the site of a fire.
Residents report feeling a huge shockwave after the explosion which was followed by more blasts soon after.
Footage from Tianjin also shows images of a huge cloud in the sky after the explosion, and some local residents are posting pictures of shattered windows and injured people.
Tianjin in a major port and industrial area, around 70 miles from the capital Beijing and home to around 15.2 million people.