News Advanta Bulletin - Tianjin Explosions

Advanta Bulletin - Tianjin Explosions

Sep 12, 2015
On Wednesday 12th August 2015 there were two major explosions at the Port of Tianjin, Northern China. These explosions have resulted in a substantial number of fatalities, left hundreds severely injured and caused significant/widespread damage to surrounding property.

The explosions occurred in a warehouse owned by Tianjin International Ruihai Logistics. This warehouse contained hazardous and flammable chemicals including calcium carbide, sodium cyanide, potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate and sodium nitrate.

The Chinese Authorities have stated that the cause of the explosions is yet to be established. While they continue with their investigations, there has been a lot of speculation in the media surrounding the incident and its circumstances.

It is understood that prior to the explosions firefighters were already at the scene trying to control a fire at the warehouse. Chemical experts have suggested that water sprayed on the chemicals in the warehouse could have triggered the initial explosion, as calcium carbide reacts with water to create the highly explosive compound acetylene. The chemical experts consider that an initial acetylene blast could have detonated the other chemicals, resulting in the second much larger explosion.

According to the China Earthquake Networks Centre, the initial explosion had a power equivalent to the detonation of 3 tonnes of TNT, while the second was equivalent to the detonation of 21 tonnes. The second explosion was so significant that images of it were picked up on orbiting weather satellites.

In addition to the tragic loss of life and injuries sustained, the catastrophe has caused an enormous amount of damage to infrastructure, factories, goods stored at the Port and some 17,000 homes in the area surrounding the warehouse. The damage to the factories has affected their ongoing production and the damage to the goods stored at the Port includes thousands of new vehicles from Renault, Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia.

Our specialist Loss Adjusting and Forensic Accounting divisions have the necessary technical skills and experience to handle claims arising from this event. We are readily available to assist Insurers with this matter and have local partners in China on standby to carry out site inspections in compliance with local regulations.