An explosion rocked the northern Chinese city of Tianjin, the nation’s fifth largest city with over 7 million residents. late Wednesday. Current reports estimate more than 700 people sustained injuries. Casualty numbers are closing in on 50 dead including 12 firefighters. At least 36 firefighters are missing.
The first blast registered at a 2.3 magnitude quake and the second was larger at a 2.9 magnitude — the equivalent of 21 tons of TNT — according to the China Earthquake Network Center.
Buildings within a 1.5 miles radius suffered broken windows while entire office blocks were destroyed. The blast’s impact was monitored by a US Geological Survey station 100 miles distant.