UPDATE 11-Huge blasts at Chinese port kill 50, injure more than 700

Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:02pm EDT
 
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* At least 12 firefighters among 50 killed in port blast

* Crumpled shipping containers, burnt-out cars and buildings

* Industrial area stored toxic chemicals and gas

* President says those responsible to be "severely handled"

* "Is this an atomic bomb?" panicked resident asks (Adds details on injured John Deere & Co employees, paragraphs 29 and 30)

By Sui-Lee Wee and Adam Rose

TIANJIN, China, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Two huge explosions tore through an industrial area where toxic chemicals and gas were stored in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin, killing at least 50 people, including at least a dozen fire fighters, officials and state media said on Thursday.

At least 700 people were injured, more than 71 seriously, the Tianjin government said on its Weibo microblog, and the official Xinhua news agency said two fires were still burning.

Wednesday night's blasts, so large that they were seen by satellites in space, sent shockwaves through apartment blocks kilometres away in the port city of 15 million people. Internet videos showed fireballs shooting into the sky and the U.S. Geological Survey registered the blasts as seismic events.   Continued...