Financial markets in China slumped soon after several chemical warehouses containing hazardous materials exploded in the port city of Tianjin. At least 50 people died and 701 were injured as fires went on for almost 22 hours after the blasts. Greenpeace then warned chemicals involved in the blaze could pose ongoing threat to Tianjin residents, but toxic fumes would not reach capital city Beijing.
Hundreds of new cars in the parking area nearby got burnt and left behind after the explosion. According to a report by government environmental inspectors in 2014, the facility was designed to store several dangerous chemicals including sodium cyanide, classified as “extremely harmful,” as well as chemicals including explosives sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate.
The owners of the warehouse were found to have flouted packaging standards during a safety inspection two years ago, media said citing a safety bureau. Of 4,325 containers owned by Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics that were checked, five failed inspection because packaging was sub-standard, the local maritime safety administration said.
In other China-focused recent news, private mobile car services company Uber Technologies Inc is expanding to one hundred more Chinese cities during the next year. That is doubling its previous goal, executives said. Uber is based in San Francisco, California, and is valued at $51 billion after closing latest round of funding from venture investors including Microsoft Corp (MSFT) and Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd.