China’s former top work-safety official has been jailed for 15 years for corruption a year and a half after he was sacked over a giant industrial explosion that killed 173 people.
Two blasts ripped through the industrial Binhai New Area in the port city of Tianjin, China, late on August 12, killing 173 people - including firefighters - and sending shockwaves as far as 20 kilometres away. Hundreds were reported injured and swathes of buildings, apartments, vehicles and other infrastructure were burned or destroyed. State media said a shipment of explosive materials had ignited at a warehouse run by Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics, which handles are sodium cyanide and the toxic toluene diisocyanate, and triggered two explosions that occurred within seconds of each other. The National Earthquake Bureau said the first blast's strength was equivalent to 3 tonnes of TNT and the second was the equivalent of 21 tonnes. President Xi Jinping himself ordered authorities to contain the disaster and secure the area.