Environment & Health SinoBeat

Two more chemical warehouses found to be dangerously close to residential blocks in Tianjin

Environmental organisation Greenpeace has flagged up two more hazardous chemical storage facilities in Tianjin which are within 1km of residential buildings.

The Chinese port city saw one of its logistics centres ripped apart on August 12 by explosions coming from a chemical warehouse, which is just a few hundreds metres away from residential compounds despite government regulations to keep homes and chemical facilities apart.

The blasts and subsequent fires have killed 114 people so far, with over 700 still hospitalised.

Tianjin explosions

The August 12 explosions caused great damage. Photo: Reuters.

The warehouse, which belongs to private company Ruihai International Logistics, is 600m from the nearest residential building, the Vanke Harbour City Phase Three.

According to “Regulations on the Safe Management of Hazardous Chemicals in China”, hazardous chemical storage facilities must be kept at least 1km away from residential areas, public facilities and transportation networks.

Greenpeace East Asia said on Wednesday it has discovered two chemical storage facilities affiliated with the state-owned Sinochem Corporation which are in violation of this regulation.

One of them, the Sinochem Tianjin Binhai Logistics Co., Ltd, is dangerously close to a residential area that has three schools, according to Google Map.

tianjin explosions

The location of the Sinochem Tianjin Binhai Logistics Company Ltd. The red block shows the location of the hazardous chemicals warehouse. The yellow block indicated the location of a major residential area. The red line shows a radius of 1000m from the warehouse. Photo: Greenpeace

The company’s website says this facility is 130,000 square metres. It is used to store flammable liquids and solids, corrosive substances as well as the highly toxic sodium cyanide, zinc phosphide and many others.

The company, founded in 1965, boasts of an annual throughput of 600,000 tonnes of chemicals and yearly revenue of RMB60 million ($HK72.7 million), according to parent company Sinochem Tianjin’s website.

tianjin explosions

The location of the Tianjin Port Sinochem Hazardous Goods Logistics Company Ltd. The red block shows the location of the warehouse. The yellow strip indicates the nearby highway. The red line shows a radius of 250m from the warehouse. Photo: Greenpeace

The other facility, the Tianjin Port Sinochem Dangerous Goods Logistics Co., Ltd, is less than 200m from the Haibin Highway, according to Google Map.

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Two more chemical warehouses found to be dangerously close to residential blocks in Tianjin