Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Very worrying questions about that massive explosion in China

Tianjin explosions ignite barrage of questions, The Age,  China correspondent for Fairfax Media, August 14, 2015  Tianjin: As fatalities continue to mount, so too have questions around the cause, response and potential health effects of the terrifying explosions at a toxic chemicals warehouse that tore through the port city of Tianjin, China, on Wednesday night.

Chinese authorities have dispatched more than 200 military nuclear and biochemical materials specialists to the site of the blast, as well as a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Beijing environmental emergency response centre.

But some 36 hours after the explosions, municipal and environmental officials said they were still unable to determine the specific substances held in the warehouse which likely triggered the blast which killed dozens, injured hundreds, and ignited a fireball so large  it was captured by orbiting satellites.

The owner of the warehouse, Ruihai International Logistics, is a  firm which specialises in handling hazardous cargo, state news agency Xinhua said. It is licensed to handle dangerous and toxic chemicals including sodium cyanide, compressed natural gas, phosphoric acid, potassium nitrate and butanone – an explosive industrial solvent.

“So far, we are not able to provide the detail of type and amount of these dangerous items,” Gao Huaiyou, the deputy director of Tianjin’s work safety administration bureau, said on Thursday. “There is quite a big inconsistency with information provided by the company’s management and their customs declaration.”

Though a pungent smell and visible smog hung in the vicinity of the blast, officials said 17 emergency air monitoring stations indicated air quality in the city remained within a normal range, aided by easterly winds which blew toxic plumes from the fires out to sea.

Readings of cyanide and chemical oxygen demand – a measure of water quality – some three to eight times normal levels were detected near two underground discharge pipes, though officials said the pipes had been sealed off and posed no danger to health or the environment of the surrounding area.

Xinhua said 1000 firefighters and more than 140 fire trucks were struggling to contain the blaze in a warehouse which stored “dangerous goods”.

“The volatility of the goods means the fire is especially unpredictable and dangerous to approach,” it said….http://www.theage.com.au/world/tianjin-explosions-ignite-barrage-of-questions-20150814-gizjw9.html#ixzz3ir0wfaMy

August 15, 2015 - Posted by | INTERNATIONAL

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