Environmental Health & Safety

Investigation Pins Tianjin Blasts On Mismanagement

By Chemical Processing Staff

Feb 09, 2016

A government investigation into the explosions in Tianjin faults mismanagement at a chemical warehouse and lax oversight by regulators as the cause of the blasts that killed more than 165 people six months ago.  Chinese officials describe the explosions at the busy seaport as a man-made disaster, according to an article in The New York Times. The explosions reportedly caused $1.1 billion in damage, destroying more than 300 buildings and injuring nearly 800 people, making it one of the worst industrial disasters in Chinese history.

Rui Hai International Logistics operates the warehouse where the explosions occurred. According to the article, the blasts were triggered when improperly stored nitrocellulose became too dry and ignited, setting fire to nearby containers housing ammonium nitrate. The government report says Rui Hai committed a series of safety violations, including illegally building a freight yard, illegally storing hazardous materials and showing “inept safety management.” Environmental groups are calling for an overhaul of China’s chemical management system.

Read the entire article here.