Tianjin disaster throws doubt on zoning near site

(From Caixin online)

At least three residential buildings stood within one kilometer from the site of the deadly explosions in the port city of Tianjin, despite State Council limits on protective zoning for the storage of hazardous materials.

The death toll from the massive explosions at the chemicals warehouse facility in Tianjin’s Binhai New Area on August 12 rose to 56, including 21 firefighters, as investigators continue to search for the cause of the fiery blasts.

Incinerated cars in Tianjin

Incinerated cars in Tianjin

The explosions occurred in a district of the city that is home to 2.5 million people. Tianjin has a population of 15 million.

The official Xinhua News Agency said over 700 people were hospitalized, with 25 in critical condition, by 9 p.m. on August 13.

Tianjin Port (Group) Co., Ltd., which administers the port area of the warehouse, said dozens of its workers remain unaccounted for.

The intensity of damage from the massive blasts prompted many to ask why the warehouse was built so close to residential buildings.

According to a State Council regulation on protective zoning, middle and large-sized storage facilities for hazardous chemicals and items should not be built within a distance of one kilometer from public buildings, major public transportation lines including roads and rail lines, as well as manufacturing centers and mines.

A warehouse is classified as large if its size exceeds 9,000 square meters. The warehouse leveled in the blast was roughly five times the size of a large warehouse. Read more


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