Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

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Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby toucana on August 12th, 2015, 2:10 pm 

A4r45Wcv2.jpg
Tianjin Fireball

There are reports that a massive explosion has taken place in the Chinese city of Tianjin.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/massive-explosion-reported-in-chinese-city-of-tianjin

Reports posted on Weibo and other Chinese social media indicate that an explosion took place in the Binhai harbour district of Tianjin which is a coastal city about 90 miles southeast of Beijing at around 11:30pm local time.

Video footage posted on Weibo shows a giant fireball that dwarfs the city, and blast-wave that caused severe damage up to 30 kilometres away.

Government sources say that a "a gas station exploded", and that at least 40 people are dead. Other sources say that a chemical warehouse and a large ethanol storage facility exploded, and that there are many hundreds of casualties.
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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby toucana on August 14th, 2015, 3:30 pm 

There is growing speculation that the worst of the devastating explosions in Tianjin may have been provoked by the attempts of firecrews to extinguish a fire in a chemical storage facility that happened to contain a significant quantity of calcium carbide.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3197478/Are-firefighters-blame-Experts-say-water-sprayed-volatile-chemical-fire-cause-apocalyptic-explosion-China-killed-50-people.html

As many as eight fire-engines and other first responders were already on site dealing with a smaller blaze in the container storage yard of Rui Hai Logistics, a large shipping firm in the Bin Hai area of the Port of Tianjin, who are licensed to handle a variety of hazardous substances.

Documents suggest that in addition to ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate and at least 700 tons of sodium cyanide, that an unknown quantity of calcium carbide was being kept in storage as well.

Calcium carbide evolves large quantities of highly flammable acetylene gas when exposed to water. The hydrolytic reaction is.
CaC2 + 2 H2O → C2H2 + Ca(OH)2
The reaction is exothermic too. Carbide acetylene gas lamps are still used as a source of light by cavers and geologists who prefer their bright yellow light, and also use them as a heat source to ward off hypothermia.

Calcium carbide is widely used in China as a cheap source of acetylene which is then used as a precursor in the production of polyvinyl chloride.

The suspicion is that water used by the firefighters caused a large release of acetylene gas, and that a fuel-air explosion then provoked the explosion of a much larger quantity of ammonium nitrate fertiliser stored on the site.

Seismograph records indicate that two large explosions equivalent to about 3 and 21 tonnes of TNT respectively, occurred 30 seconds apart, consistent with a two stage acetylene gas and ammonium nitrate blast.

The thermal pulse of the explosion was so large that it was captured from space by a Japanese weather satellite, the Himawari-8.

http://www.vox.com/2015/8/12/9144583/tianjin-explosion-video
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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby Darby on August 16th, 2015, 8:14 am 

Calcium Carbide was bad enough, but even worse there was also 700 tons of Sodium Cyanide present (yikes !!**), which the explosion scattered over the entire site. Horrifically nasty stuff ... incredibly toxic, hard to contain, deadly both as airborne dust and dissolved in drinking water.

Oh, it gets worse ... former employees have already admitted to not having been properly trained in handling toxic chemicals, and the warehouse was located closer than the 1km limit imposed by Chinese regulations. Major lapses in safety regulation compliance and simple human judgement every step of the way ... it's a total clusterf**k from every possible angle, both environmentally, and legally.

I dont think the mass media have recognized the true scope of this horror yet, but in many ways this disaster is far worse than 3 Mile Island ... the entire site is not only located within a fairly major city (bad idea), but it's hopelessly contaminated and deadly and the cleanup required will be truly ungodly and take many months or even years. In fact, they may have to simply wall it off, and reroute the municipal water supplies to give it a wide berth.

I would not want to be one of the executives of the company responsible right now, or any of the officials who'd previously issued permits to that site (probably after bribes), because you can bet your bottom dollar that the current government will try to make itself look good by arresting and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law on national TV, and the victims families will be out for blood too.

This is just the opening round of what will be a long lasting media circus.

------------------
** That's probably enough to kill every man woman and child on the planet.
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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby toucana on August 16th, 2015, 4:12 pm 

flammable.jpg

The photo above was posted on Weibo. It appears to show a chemical residue near the scene of the explosion igniting spontaneously as water is poured onto it. Rather hope that isn't sodium cyanide, because that would release intensely poisonous hydrogen cyanide vapour !

The 700 tons of sodium cyanide stored at the Tianjin site was in excess of that permitted under Chinese safety regulations by a factor of 70. It is normally used for the extraction of gold and silver in mining operations, and can be lethal in oral doses as low as 200mg to 300mg.

The China Peoples Daily has reported the closure of 50 websites for 'irresponsible reporting' of the Tianjin disaster

http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0816/c90000-8936704.html

"The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) made the announcement on its website that it had decided to shut down 18 websites permanently including chefu.com and 127q.com, and suspend 32 websites for one month for their irresponsible management.

The rumors were mostly related to the false estimation or assumption of the number of people who lost their lives in the explosions. "More than 1,000 people were killed," said one of the websites being punished. Another website claimed that "no one survived in the radius of 1,000 meters."
According to official sources, the actual number of people killed in the blast Wednesday night has been 104 so far."

The Peoples Daily didn't find space to mention that at least another ninety-five people , 85 of them firefighters, are still missing presumed dead according to BBC sources.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-33951125
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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby Darby on August 16th, 2015, 4:30 pm 

And the communist government is in full spin/censorship mode, due to the well-deserved embarassment in the international media. Typical.
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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby toucana on August 16th, 2015, 5:52 pm 

And the communist government is in full spin/censorship mode, due to the well-deserved embarassment in the international media. Typical.


Chinese netizens and bloggers often refer rather sardonically to what they call the wu mao dang (五毛党) which means 'The Fifty Cent Party' in Chinese. The name alludes to the army of online shills and sycophants who are said to be paid 50 cents a posting by the Chinese government to make anodyne and supportive comments in blogs and social media which are meant to steer discussion in directions approved by the ruling Chinese communist party.

Dissident Chinese bloggers often resort to quite ingenious puns and word plays to evade the clutches of bots filters and web crawlers run by the Chinese government which go looking for key words in online postings. One is the phrase he-xie (河蟹) which as written means 'river crab' but which also happens to a homophone of he-xie (和谐) which means 'harmonious', a buzz-word that has become a sinister shorthand for heavy-handed online censorship by the ZF or (政府 – zhèng fǔ - government).

An entertaining account of many of these circumlocutions, and the so called 'Ten Mythical Creatures of Baidu' can be found at
http://www.chinasmack.com/glossary
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baidu_10_Mythical_Creatures
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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby Darby on August 16th, 2015, 7:55 pm 

On western sites like Amazon, the analagous counterpart of the fifty cent party is referred to as "Astroturfing".
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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby TheVat on August 17th, 2015, 12:30 am 

Yep. I remember when Philip Morris et al. formed a 50 cent party, pre Internet, an early campaign of astroturfing to make it look like there was more grassroots support for smoker's rights than there was. The term astroturfing was a clever play on the term grassroots, as in grass with fake roots. Then the web came along and made it so much easier. I have heard estimates that one third of all consumer reviews on the web are fake. And sometimes the fakes are not so hard to spot, once you know they are there.

This is a terrible disaster for a nation already so beset by ecological horrors and corruption. 700 tons of sodium cyanide...like a chemical Chernobyl. It would be nice if the government could be more open about the coping and cleanup....the rest of the world might benefit from access to what is learned in the process.
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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby Darby on August 21st, 2015, 7:16 am 

Pretty much spot on in my predictions earlier ... bribery, corruption, arrests, more chemicals revealed, and the start of a long environmental nightmare for the area.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/toxic-chemi ... -by-blast/
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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby Darby on August 23rd, 2015, 8:35 am 

And the plot thickens ... earlier today, another chemical plant (this time in Shandong) exploded. As with 9/11 when it wasn't immediately apparent it was a terrorist attack until the second plane hit, this second explosion at another Chinese warehouse storing dangerous chemicals illegally close to residential areas appears to dangle the disturbing possibility that both explosions are somehow related.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-34029202
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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby toucana on August 24th, 2015, 11:29 am 

zibo.jpg
Runxing Chemical Storage Fire - Shantung

The explosion at the Runxing warehouse took place on Saturday night at Zibo, in the Huantai region of Shantung.

The principal chemical involved appears to be adiponitrile which is an important precursor used in the bulk commercial production of nylon. There are several possible ways of producing adiponitrile, one of which involves the use of sodium cyanide which is rather worrying given that this is the same chemical that was illegally stored, and has now created a massive pollution problem in the Tianjin disaster.

China is a very large developing country with a substantial chemical engineering infrastructure. They have large numbers of potentially dangerous chemical storage sites, and rather primitive H&S systems that seem to be all too easily compromised by bribery or local political corruption. Unsurprisingly they tend to have rather a lot of industrial accidents.

The BBC report mentions that - "Last week, an inspection of places storing hazardous chemicals in Beijing unearthed safety issues at 85 out of 124 sites, resulting in two emergency factory closures."

edit - quite a good gallery of pictures of the Zibo incident from Weibo users:

http://ban.jo/News/Asia/20150822/Chemical-Warehouse-Explodes-In-China-Zibo/

The Chinese captions say that the chemical factory was built well inside the legal 1Km exclusion zone from residential housing.
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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby Darby on August 27th, 2015, 4:55 am 

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Re: Massive Explosion In Tianjin China

Postby toucana on August 29th, 2015, 7:35 pm 

Dongli.png
Flood Tide Dongli

They do say "It never rains but it pours".
This photo from the Dongli district of Tianjin is captioned simply "High tide in Tianjin".

More photos of the latest flooding:

http://ban.jo/Enterprise/Weather/20150828/Flooding-Submerges-China-Dongli/
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