Minitrue: New Chemical Explosion in Tianjin

Minitrue: New Chemical Explosion in Tianjin

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

All news websites are strictly forbidden from hyping the warehouse explosion in Tianjin’s Beichen District. Content which seizes the opportunity to attack the Party, the government, or the social system will be investigated and lead to punishment [of the source]. Delete such content immediately. (October 13, 2015) [Chinese]

A chemical warehouse in Xiditou Village, Tianjin erupted into flames on Monday night, just two months after chemical explosions in another part of the port city claimed 165 lives. No casualties have been reported.

Video and photos of the explosion quickly appeared on Weibo:


Source: Weibo

The Xiditou warehouse was rented illegally from a resident by a company registered in Hebei, according to Tianjin’s municipal news office. It housed materials for the production of pharmaceuticals and plastics, including over 6,000 pounds of alcohol and 2,000 pounds of acetic acid.

A series of explosions at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin’s Binhai District on August 12 killed 165 people, left almost 800 wounded, and displaced thousands from their homes, built dangerously close to the warehouse.

Hours before yesterday’s accident, China Labour Bulletin published a somber evaluation of industrial safety in the wake of the August 12 explosions:

In the immediate aftermath of Tianjin, Chinese officials from Premier Li Keqiang down promised to overhaul work safety in China but since then the official Chinese media has reported another 84 incidents, which have now been logged on CLB’s Work Accident Map. This figure excludes the landslide at a Shaanxi mine that killed 65 miners and their families a matter of hours before the Tianjin explosions.

Soon after the Tianjin tragedy, government officials submitted plans to relocate or upgrade nearly 1,000 chemical plants currently in close proximity to residential areas. But on 23 August, a chemical plant explosion killed one worker and injured nine others in Zibo, Shandong. One week later, a chemical plant explosion killed 13 workers and injured 25 in Dongying, also in Shandong.

[…] Other industries, like construction and street sweeping, get less attention, but are equally dangerous. Since the Tianjin blast, CLB’s Accident Map has recorded one deadly accident in the construction industry every two days on average. And at least ten sanitation workers have been killed on the job in the last two months, with four killed in separate incidents in three days from 10 to 12 September. [Source]

Many of the dead and missing from the August Tianjin explosions are firefighters from privately contracted brigades.

Netizens are skeptical that there are no casualties from yesterday’s blast; read selected comments via CDT Chinese.

真Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.


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