Friday, August 14, 2015

Tianjin Explosion

My thoughts are going out to the people of Tianjin, China.

A chemical warehouse in the port, owned by a company called Ruihui Logistics, caught fire. The company was storing chemicals illegally. Apparently the law says that "dangerous chemicals" should be stored at least 1km from "public buildings and transport networks." There were at least three large apartment buildings within that radius.

Because of "lack of communication" firefighters used water on the fire, which reacted with one of the hazardous chemicals that shouldn't have been there to cause a massive explosion. 721 people were injured badly enough to go to the hospital, with 25 in critical condition. 6,000 people have been evacuated from homes close to the fire (which is not fully out) because of concerns about toxic chemicals.

56 people died, including 21 firefighters. (Several more firefighters are missing and the death toll is likely to go up a little).

Oh, and the blast destroyed an entire lot full of cars that were waiting shipment (For some reason, the news agencies are all loving this titbit).

Basically, it's a mess - and a mess which could easily have been avoided. The existing laws were more than sufficient to protect people. If they'd been enforced.