Blasts lit up the night sky, say Chinese witnesses

Beijing, Aug 13 (IANS) The massive explosions in China’s post city of Tianjin, killing 17 people and leaving over 400 injured, lit up the night sky and shattered windows. Witnesses on Thursday recalled that it looked as bright as it was daytime.

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Truck driver Hu Xiaoliang, 32, woke up on Wednesday night on hearing a strong blast which threw him away from beneath his truck, where he and his co-workers were resting, Xinhua news agency reported.

The explosion ripped through the Ruihai warehouse, which stores dangerous goods, following a fire report half an hour earlier.

Hu saw fire-fighters rush to the site. Another blast followed, and more fire-fighters rushed in.

Two fire-fighters have been reported missing and another four were injured in the battle against the fire.

“It’s all black and smog, I can’t see anything inside. Some of my colleagues had even worse injuries,” an injured fire-fighter in his 20s told Xinhua.

Smog billowed from the site. In a nearby apartment complex, the balconies of many apartment buildings were shattered.

Du Wenjun, a resident in north China’s Tianjin Municipality, never imaged that he would see a “mushroom cloud” outside the window of his home.

A video clip of a witness showed that the heavy smoke covered the sky, shortly after fires raged, accompanied by loud bangs.

Zhao Lirong, a 35-year-old businesswoman, was asleep when the blast blew off the windows and doors of her apartment, hitting her head, her son’s neck and her husband’s feet.

A female resident, surnamed Zhang, who lives a 10-minute-drive from the site, told sohu.com that she was looking after her child at home when a strong light appeared outside, making the night sky as bright as it was in the daytime, China Daily reported.

Blood stains were splattered on the floors of hospitals that received injured patients.

People rushed into the streets in their pyjamas, and some worried that an earthquake could occur.

There was heavy traffic congestion at 1 a.m. on the street near the warehouse, according to Lu Qing, a witness.

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