Poison Rain Feared In Tianjin As Death Toll Rumored At 1,400

Tyler Durden's picture

The fallout from last week’s massive explosion in the Chinese port of Tianjin continues to worsen, despite Beijing’s best efforts to play down the danger to the public. 

The official death toll from the apocalyptic blast - which was described by witnesses as akin to a nuclear explosion - has risen to 114. Some reports suggest the number of people confirmed killed may ultimately rise to 1,400. Some 6,000 have been displaced and more than 700 are reported injured. "The whole sky was lit up, and the blast wave sent me into the air," a first responder told local media, describing the scene that unfolded last Wednesday. "My helmet was gone. It was like a different world, with flames falling like raindrops on my head."

Speaking of raindrops, authorities now fear that storms in the area could transform sodium cyanide (which is water soluble) present on the scene into hydrogen cyanide. Here’s the CDC’s definition of hydrogen cyanide: 

Hydrogen cyanide (AC) is a systemic chemical asphyxiant. It interferes with the normal use of oxygen by nearly every organ of the body. Exposure to hydrogen cyanide (AC) can be rapidly fatal. It has whole-body (systemic) effects, particularly affecting those organ systems most sensitive to low oxygen levels: the central nervous system (brain), the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels), and the pulmonary system (lungs). Hydrogen cyanide (AC) is a chemical warfare agent (military designation, AC). It is used commercially for fumigation, electroplating, mining, chemical synthesis, and the production of synthetic fibers, plastics, dyes, and pesticides. Hydrogen cyanide (AC) gas has a distinctive bitter almond odor (others describe a musty "old sneakers smell"), but a large proportion of people cannot detect it; the odor does not provide adequate warning of hazardous concentrations. It also has a bitter burning taste and is often used as a solution in water.

Tianjin’s vice mayor said “around 700 tonnes” of sodium cyanide was being stored at the facility. That’s a problem because as it turns out, the warehouse was only authorized to store around 24 tonnes. 

As we noted over the weekend, China has tried its best to go by the Fukushima playbook. In short, the overarching goal is to minimize panic among the population, even if it means blatantly lying about exactly what it is that the public is exposed to. After all, the priority among government bureaucrats has always been to minimize social disturbance even if it means sacrificing countless individuals that could have been saved if only the government had told the truth from the beginning.

This mentality led China to claim last week that no hazardous chemicals had leaked into the water. That contention has come under increased scrutiny. "The closest water test point to the blast site revealed cyanide 27.4 times standards on Sunday", AFP says. The State Oceanic Association admitted that "minute traces of cyanide have been detected in waters near the Tianjin port." Here's more from The Guardian:

With the official death toll raised to 112 and the number of missing people at 95, rescue workers wearing gas masks and hazard suits were racing to clear the area before the weather changes because of concerns that wind could spread the toxins and rain could cause a dangerous reaction with chemicals at the site.


Eric Liu, a campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, said that without precise data on how much calcium carbide was involved in the blast, it was impossible to predict how serious these reactions could be.



“The other danger rain poses is that chemicals stored in warehouse could be washed into water supplies, with a potentially large impact on local ecosystems,” Liu said. “However, again, without more specific information it is difficult to say what impacts exactly.”

Meanwhile, the public is getting restless as some suspect the government of obscuring the facts and masking possible corruption. Here's NBC again:

State media Monday carried large photographs of Premier Li Keqiang with local officials in identical whites shirt and trousers visiting the scene of massive toxic Tianjin explosions.


Li has promised a thorough investigation and punishment for those responsible — even while the authorities were busy closing down dozens of "rumor-mongering" websites for demanding pretty much the same thing.


Tianjin is tricky for the Communist Party because, according to numerous local reports, there appear to have been big regulatory and legal failures — from the type and quantity of highly toxic chemicals stored at the site to the apparent lack of an inventory and the location of such a dangerous stockpile so close to residential areas.


While the name of the company that owned the warehouse complex has been made public — Ruihai International Logistics, a four-year-old firm that employed about 70 workers — the company's website has been taken down, as has the corporate registry database of the city of Tianjin. That has fueled online speculation that local officials were involved with the company. No evidence to that effect has been presented, but such involvement would not be unusual in China.

And here's The Globe and Mail:

Online, meanwhile, authorities struggled to cleanse a raging conversation that attacked the official response and the system that had allowed such a disaster to happen. Social-media users shared photos of families rallying behind a giant handwritten banner demanding an details about the missing: “Either we see them alive or see their bodies,” read one.


Anger emerged in hashtags calling the situation “A real life Pinocchio” and demanding “Tanggu explosion truth,” a reference to the Tianjin neighbourhood where the blasts left a gaping crater.


“We demand the truth, and strict punishment to comfort the victims!” wrote one person on China’s Facebook-like Weibo site.

And while citizens can "demand the truth" until they are blue in the face, they will apparently have to do so very quietly and not in a public forum, because as The Guardian goes on to note, "fifty websites have been punished for 'spreading Tianjin blast rumours' and close to 400 Weibo and WeChat accounts have been shut down." So while the public will always be at an informational disadvantage in the wake of a disaster thanks to government efforts to maintain order, that goes double in China, where we imagine the suppression of online discussion will continue until the death toll and the fallout becomes so difficult to downplay that Beijing will be forced to either acknowledge the true extent of the catastrophe or face widespread social upheaval. 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
junction's picture

Call it "black rain."

Croesus's picture

Soon we'll probably be getting another lecture from some politician, about how we need to "go green" to save the environment. 

Has it occured to anyone else, that the corporations are responsible for most of the pollution in the world? 


Oh regional Indian's picture

Sure feels like odd timing, given the currency devals...

Question everything, feel for the common man, who is just a patsy...


Croesus's picture

I've had that thought too, but also think that: 

1. China sees the US as a 'paper tiger'. 

2. The Chinese have no qualms about sacrificing a few million of their own in "the battle", if it means winning the war. 

3. The Chinese are a patient people, much more so than the 'instant gratification' culture that's prevalent in the West. 

Haus-Targaryen's picture

I sure wish someone from the alt-media in China would get as close as they can to the blast site with a geiger-counter & a camcorder.  

Either prove or put to rest the Nuclear theory people are starting to circulate.  

gmrpeabody's picture

" some suspect the government of obscuring the facts and masking possible corruption"

What planet do they live on...,

oh, wait.

Spigot's picture

A hydrogen cyanide concentration of 300 mg/m3 in air will kill a human within 10–60 minutes. A hydrogen cyanide concentration of 3500 ppm (about 3200 mg/m3) will kill a human in about 1 minute.

Let's assume 1/3rd of the 700 tonnes (230 tonnes) becomes approx 125 tonnes of cyanide gas. That would be enough gas to produce 1 minute lethal doses to contaminate over 39 million cubic meters of air.

Good to be up wind from that.

Black Warrior Waterdog's picture

Cyanide Rain
Some stay dry and others feel the pain
Cyanide Rain
A baby born will die before the sin

Cyanide Rain
The school books say it can't be here again
Cyanide Rain
The Chicoms make you wonder where it went

Cyanide Rain
Build a tent and say the world as dry
Cyanide Rain
Zoom the camera out and see the lie

Cyanide Rain
Forecast to be falling yesterday
Cyanide Rain
Only in the past is what they say


Winston of Oceania's picture

MOAB or air fuel bomb is more likely for a silly scenario like sabotage. Exports are down and stockpiles have soared in ports throughout China and the rest of the world. A work force of uneducated serfs will sooner or later make a poor decision and place reactive materials too close to one another. Then all,you need is a match or cigarette or shoddy wiring or even a piece of metal being dropped on concrete and boom. In case you haven't noticed the populations of ALL the major powers is aging to the degree that in 30 years populations will,be smaller and younger so there is no need for a war to kill us all off. Our masters are using carbohydrates to do that work...

lordylord2's picture
lordylord2 (not verified) Croesus Aug 17, 2015 8:05 AM

"Has it occured to anyone else, that the corporations are responsible for most of the pollution in the world? "

And who buys the products manufactured by corporations?  You guessed it:  indivduals.  We are all responsible.  BTW, you sound like a dimwit.  Take the responsibility off yourself and put it on others.  Nice.   i'm sure more taxes and regulation will fix everything.

Dugald's picture

Has it occured to anyone else, that the corporations are responsible for most of the pollution in the world?

Thar's reet there lad, where there's muck there's munny.....

goldsansstandard's picture

Sodium cyanide is only stable at a high Ph, such as in drain cleaner or oven cleaner.

Perhaps its dispersal is sufficient to bring the Ph down, and the resulting HCN gas has already blown away.
Then again, perhaps not

Never One Roach's picture

Simply follow the money here as with any gubmint corruption/bribery. Sounds like heads were turned ... for a price.

russwinter's picture

Was Tianjin Hit by a Hyper-Velocity Rod-of-God Kinetic Energy Weapon? 


Infinite QE's picture

zionist high tech lightning.

Budnacho's picture

Im going to go with your typical issues....overt Chinese corruption, bribery and safety violations...

russwinter's picture

Safety violations certainly set the stage for the arsonist rod-of-God match.

Infinite QE's picture

Funny how whenever a country gets out of lockstep with the talmudic financial overlords, events happen. Witness the Kobe quake after Japan threatened to cease buying treasuries, then the fukushima event after the same, and then now in China after they started dumping enmasse treasuries and then devalued their currency without official notice.

weburke's picture

kobe location epicenter was exact location of research and development center. treasuries may have also contributed or been part of the rebellion.

Mute Button's picture

Whoever posted above that we need a nuclear radiation detector and video camera to verify if it was a nuke, will have no more questions after watching that video.

y3maxx's picture

What country/city is next to receive these gifts of covert USSA acts of terror?

weburke's picture

gifts from whom? jerusalem one fine day.

BandGap's picture

They pack them in tight in China.

Hydrogen cyanide is reportedly a painful way to die. Cyanide binds to hemoglobin more tightly than oxygen and essentially you suffocate. Those idiots using masks are doomed if the gas is nearby, those are dust masks.

People are fools.



ersatz007's picture

Those idiots using masks are doomed if the gas is nearby, those are dust masks.


They *are* idiots - they should go on AMAZON and buy proper protection from Hydrogen Cyanide with all their disposable income.  

Seasmoke's picture

We nuked some folks.

doubledutch's picture

Conspiracy believers are convinced that there are many similarities with 9/11

knuppel's picture
knuppel (not verified) doubledutch Aug 17, 2015 7:19 AM

Yes, status quo in china seems to be still making up their mind on how they will spin this. Theres various rumors on the net, that it may have been infighting of former chinese party leaders destroying evidence of an attempt on Xi Jinping. An attack on the new financial district being built next to the explosion. This is the main port area for Beijing, strategic oil reserves are stored there too. Sodium cyanide is also used for goldmining. The owner of the company terrain seems to be in hospital in a coma without a cited reason. Zyklon B cyanide has jewish conotations, was this a Rotschildian greeting?

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

"Sodium cyanide is also used for goldmining."

This.  If the attack is tribal, it's a two birds/one stone scenario, major shipping port disrupted + gold mining disrupted = screwing with China's two main points of currecy value.  

Dr. Engali's picture

I'm still not convinced this wasn't a warning shot from the U.S to keep China in line with their currency moves.

shovelhead's picture

"Ok, do you still want to do bi-lateral trade deals in Yaun instead of dollars?"

Almost anything doesn't sound too tinfoil-ly given the track record we're working with.

Dr. Engali's picture

It's my belief that there are no such things as coincidences. It's odd how this happened right after China's currency move and the next day China holds a press conference stating they won't devalue their currency any further. And where is the MSM coverage on Tianjin? 

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Don't forget the artifical island military bases Dr.   They had to be made an example of. 

Conax's picture

Don't forget their announcement that they had increased their gold holdings, also.

They have been getting a little uppity lately.

Karl von Bahnhof's picture

Yes doctor, this and following attempt on color revolution based on corruption, environmentals and bureaucracy.

Coordinated with Brasil protests. Interesting times ahead.

SoDamnMad's picture

Nice to keep the firfighters in the dark about what exactly is there so they can courageously go right to the forefront and get blown to kingdom-come and/or be gassed to death.   I morne their loss. Not so the government.

Socratic Dog's picture

Um, that would be 9/11 you're talking about?

Slave2Fashion's picture

I'll take "Shit Happens" for $500, Alex, seeing that human beings were involved with all the concurrent factors of greed, kickbacks, dishonesty and stupidity.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Greed is going to lead to the end of man. There are just too many members of the species that will do absolutely anything for their own personal power & enrichment.

Atomizer's picture

Very sad event. My condolences go out to the families.

Blowback will occur to those architects responsible. This collateral damage is to high to target a small group of individuals. Imagine paybacks will bring higher death tolls to party setting off the explosion. My guess, they will target family members. 

Food for thought. Eventually, everything will come to surface. Exposure is imminent. 

Socratic Dog's picture

I'm repeating myself, again.  That's 9/11 you're talking about?

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Those empty cities make sense now, a place to evacuate too.

Atomizer's picture

If we build it, they'll come. Someone is fixated on creating new migration within China. Theodor Herzl principles of weaving peasants around comes to mind.