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Video: Chaos in Tianjin, China, as Massive Explosion Destroys Multiple Blocks

Video and photographs of a massive explosion in Tianjin, China, have begun surfacing on Twitter, Sina Weibo, and other social media sites as authorities scramble to find the cause of the explosion and those caught in proximity to the fire, whose cause appears still unknown.

The BBC is reporting only that the cause of the fire is unknown, though many are speculating on social media that it is gas or chemical related. Unconfirmed reports claim the explosion began at a gas station. Videos taken from a far distance show the magnitude of the explosion, which later topples the eyewitness taking the footage to the ground with its force. The Chinese state outlet People’s Daily is attributing the explosion to “explosive material in container at terminal in Binhai Dist.”

Matt Simon, a reporter for China’s CCTV, reports that “2 or 3” explosions occurred, all seemingly creating a gigantic mushroom cloud. He notes that reporters indicate the explosion appears to be “something related to gas or oil,” and there is potentially a chemical leak in the areas still standing. He also confirms bodies are strewn throughout the city, but will not post images of them out of respect for the dead and their families.

Some images circulating on Twitter show victims of the explosion, presumably close enough to feel the impact but not be engulfed by flames, drenched in blood:

China’s state news agency Xinhua has confirmed that the explosion caused an “earthquake,” and that officials still do not know the cause or the number of casualties, but that casualties are almost certain to have occurred:

Update: Xinhua reporting that the explosion was caused by “inflammables and explosives, and that the local hospital has received at least 50 patients and counting:

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