The authorities in the Chinese city of Tianjin have confirmed a total of 44 deaths, including 12 firefighters, after powerful explosions during the night. The warehouse held many hazardous goods which caught fire and caused a series of small explosions followed by a few larger ones. These series of blasts have left 521 people injured; including 52 people who are in critical condition.

At the moment, details of what exactly caused the explosion are unavailable, but research is still being done about the environmental hazards in the area.

Tianjin, is no small city. It is a city that has about 14 million people living there and it borders Beijing which is the Chinese capital.

When word got out about the blasts on Wednesday night, the media looked to social media for images and videos of the destruction. They also used the social media to find updates on casualties so that they could offer support to victims while the firefighters tried to extinguish the flames.

This video footage of the explosion has been all over the web. Here’s a transcript of the conversation: (Feel free to suggest edits)

A: (Swears) Where is the explosion? (Swears) The sky is (Swears) bright.

B: Where is that?

A: I don’t know.
(Swears) This is going to make the news tomorrow.
Oh! (Swears) The building is shaking.
(Swears) Oh, my God. It’s like an atomic bomb!
(Swears) The window is broken. (Swears)).
(Swears) The shock wave is too strong.

B: Stop looking at it.

A: Hope the building won’t (Swears) collapse.

B: Quick. Put on your clothes. Pray that the building doesn’t collapse.
Will there be another one?

A: This is it pretty much. I figure there won’t be another explosion.

The last blast hit at  about 11:30 p.m, leaving a large cloud of dark smoke and debris floating around in the air.

Story Credit: Sinosphere Blog

Vocabulary

  • authorities (n) – organizations that work for the government
  • explosions (n) – a violent blast that destroys many things
  • hazardous (adj) – risky or dangerous
  • critical condition (n) – people in a very serious and life-threatening condition
  • casualties (n) – people killed
  • extinguish (v) – to put an end to
  • debris (n) – scattered bits of dirt and rocks

How would you deal with this situation if you were in their shoes?