A huge explosion at a container port in the northeastern city of Tianjin in China has left at least 44 dead including 11 fire-fighters and leaving up to 500 injured.
The force of the explosions unnerved residents across much of the city of 15 million people and fires were still burning at dawn.
The port, one of the busiest in China, was operating normally, a port official said.
The official China Daily claimed the blast occurred in a warehouse for dangerous materials, and added that the logistics company running the facility did have proper approval for its business.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, the first explosion detonated with the force equivalent of three tons of TNT and registered 2.3 on the Richter scale.
The second detonation was equal to 21 tons of TNT and registered 2.9 on the Richter scale.
Zhao Zhencheng, a driver who spent the night in the cab of his truck, said: ‘It was like what we were told a nuclear bomb would be like. I’ve never even thought I’d see such a thing. It was terrifying but also beautiful.’