Tianjin Explosion Facets

In my first and second posts on the Tianjin explosions were about the accidents (death tolls, injured, missing, property damage, etc.) and how the government is fixing it, but the people affected are so mad.  In this huge explosion where 700 tons of hazardous chemicals were found, over 100 people dead, hundreds injured, plenty missing including firefighters, lots of fish have also been found dead, causing lots of people to not believe the government when they say it’s not unusual to have all of these fishes die during the summer because they’re dying of hypoxia.  Sure.  *Sniff sniff* Something smells fishy (I had to use it somewhere).  It definitely has nothing to do with the deadly chemicals leaching everywhere.  Imagine what other consequences this massive fish death would cause?

The following article is copied and pasted from The Guardian.  Visit the source for a video.  There are other news sites that wrote about this so I’ll put two others I found to be good or different after this article’s address.

Chinese authorities investigate mass fish death near Tianjin explosion site

in Beijing

Thursday 20 August 2015 Last modified on Friday 21 August 2015

Chinese authorities have denied that the deaths of thousands of fish near the scene of a catastrophic industrial disaster are linked to last week’s chemical explosions in Tianjin which killed at least 114 people.

Photographs showing the surface of the River Hai coated in dead sticklebacks spread on social media sites on Thursday, adding to fears that military clean up teams had failed to prevent chemicals leaking out of the blast site.

Authorities say about 40 types of chemicals were being stored at the warehouse at the centre of the explosions, including ammonium nitrate and large quantities of sodium cyanide.

But Xinhua, China’s official news agency, said no toxic levels of cyanide had been found in the river during tests on Thursday afternoon. The fish were found about 6km from the blast site.

Deng Xiaowen, the head of Tianjin’s environment monitoring centre, vowed to investigate the fish deaths but claimed “it was not uncommon for fish to die en masse in local rivers during summer, due to poor water quality”. He was quoted by the Global Times as saying: “When the temperature rises, oxygen will evaporate and fish may die of hypoxia.”

Dead fish surface near Tianjin blast site. Photograph: Imaginechina/Corbis
Dead fish surface near Tianjin blast site. Photograph: Imaginechina/Corbis

Once the precise cause of the fish deaths was established it would be announced to society immediately”, Deng added. Zhang Yunli, the head of a fishing association in Tianjin, told the Global Times the deaths could be the result of a “change in water’s salinity, which happens every year” .

A military official claimed the fish – which he named as the stickleback or tiddler – were “very sensitive to the environment”. A week after the disaster, military teams are still struggling to decontaminate the area.

The site has been surrounded with “cofferdam” barriers and drains have been filled with cement, in an attempt at stopping contaminated water seeping out into the sea, according to Xinhua.

Wen Wurui, Tianjin’s environmental chief, denied that the spilled chemicals would “significantly influence human health” but admitted many challenges remained. He told state media: “We can’t say when the cleanup work in the blast centre will be finished.”


NY Times   Al Jazeera   Time also wrote about this but their article wasn’t that great.

Remember my post title? It said, “Facets” so here’s another article on the consequence of the explosions: insurance claims.  The total will be a lot.  The following article is copied and pasted from the L.A. Times.  Visit the source to see more images of and from the accident.

Insurance claims for China explosions could top $1.5 billion, ratings agency says

August 18, 2015 10:00 AM Reporting from Beijing

Insurance claims from last week’s chemical fire and explosions in Tianjin, China, could exceed $1.5 billion, Fitch Ratings said Tuesday in one of the first overall assessments of financial losses from the incident.

The blasts blew a massive crater in the earth and damaged scores of apartment buildings, offices, shops and other businesses. Some 8,000 new cars awaiting delivery to dealerships were incinerated.

Because many residents and businesses in the well-to-do, newly developed area had insurance, Fitch said the Tianjin blasts could be one of the “most costly catastrophe claims for the Chinese insurance sector in the last few years.” Claims, the agency said, would likely surge in the next few weeks.

Chinese officials say 114 people are confirmed dead, and 57 people — 52 firefighters and five police officers — remain unaccounted for after the massive detonations in Tianjin’s Binhai New Area late Wednesday. More than 690 people remain hospitalized.

Tianjin residents and officials held a memorial service for the victims on Tuesday, the seventh day since the blasts, as rain dampened the city. Strange white soap-like bubbles appeared on numerous streets in the city in the wake of the precipitation, adding to concerns about potentially hazardous residue spread by the detonation at the Ruihai International Logistics warehouse.

The Chinese publication Caijing reported that 10 senior managers, shareholders and others with connections to Ruihai have been taken into police custody, including directors Yu Xuewei and Dong Shexuan.

Explosions in China. Rescuers transport an injured man after two massive explosions in Tianjin, China, on Aug. 12. TNS
Rescuers transport an injured man after two massive explosions in Tianjin, China, on Aug. 12. TNS

In addition, the director of China’s State Administration of Work Safety, Yang Dongliang, has been placed under investigation by the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, authorities said Tuesday, though the direct connection to the Tianjin incident, if any, remained unclear.

Meanwhile, China’s State Council, a body roughly on par with the Cabinet in the U.S. political system, said it was starting an investigation into the cause of the disaster.

Fitch said that while motor, cargo, liability and property damage claims are likely to make up the bulk of losses for insurers, medical and life insurance claims are also likely to be “substantial.”

The agency said wounded people who are covered by a government-backed accident insurance plan could receive between $3,100 and $5,470 each, while the families of people killed in the incident may be eligible for about $7,800 in death benefits.

A number of toxic substances, including sodium cyanide, were reportedly stored at the site, in apparent violation of safety and licensing regulations.

He Shushan, the deputy major of Tianjin, told the state-run Global Times newspaper on Tuesday that all toxic chemicals scattered outside of the main blast area should have been collected and properly secured as of Monday evening.



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I began writing Elle's Adventure in China (EACh) in June 2014 as a fun summer project, but as obstacles kept interfering with my plans, I forked and forked more options. I took writing this novel much more seriously in mid-July, and want to have it officially published someday in my lifetime. As many artists put their hearts into their projects, so do I. I did not start out liking to read, but a professor suggested a book for me for homework a few years ago, and it was an amazing book. Since then, I read for pleasure, and I hope my novel, Elle's Adventure in China, does the same for as many of you as possible. The same thing goes to writing. I did not like to write until I took a course where the professor and papers made me love to write. I hope every one of you find what makes you happy and dedicated to work. In May 2015, I started my other blog, Read and Write Here (R&WH), as a place to post other things that aren't China- and Chinese culture-related and not EACh. I share some of my memories and experiences from student teaching, irregular participation in Daily Prompts, etc. I'd like to have regular people and bloggers to write book reviews and post it on R&WH someday. Keep reading and writing!

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