In a terrifyingly reminiscent scene, a massive fire broke out yesterday evening at an industrial park in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin.
The blaze began at around 5:45 pm at a storage depot for lubricating oil, Chinese state media reported. Firefighters soon arrived on the scene and the fire was brought under control. No casualties have been reported.
Overnight, a number of video clips went viral on Chinese social media showing flames raging high and a colossal cloud of smoke covering the night sky.
While giant fires and explosions aren’t too unusual an occurrence at factories in China, Tianjin’s Binhai New Area is the location of the country’s most deadly and catastrophic industrial incident. On the night of August 12th, 2015, massive chemical explosions ripped through a warehouse there, killing 173 people, injuring hundreds more, and causing an estimated $1.1 billion in damage.
The explosions were caused by the illegal storage of more than 11,000 tons of hazardous chemicals. Afterward, a number of government officials and company execs were either fired or jailed, while the Tianjin government promised to clean up its act.