Tianjin Chemical Warehouse Explosions – Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste
Warehousing hazardous chemicals, on a large scale, is not uncommon, and can be done safely provided the facility is properly designed. The Tianjin explosion (August 12, 2015) highlights the consequences of failing to appropriately store bulk quantities of potentially hazardous chemicals. At about 11:30pm (local time), a series of explosions in Tianjin devastated a chemical warehouse and storage complex and the surrounding area. Tianjin is a port city located about 150 kilometers southeast of Beijing. On September 12, 2015 Chinese authorities ended the search of the eight remaining missing persons, setting the final death toll at 173.
This article offers an overview of the design and operational basis for chemical warehouses. It also presents an explanation for the events of the explosion from a chemical perspective.