China’s Tianjin Port Disaster

121 Dead, 54 missing and hundreds injured in China’s Tianjin Port disaster.

 The Explosion. August 12 proved to be a tragic day for Tianjin in China, where an explosion at a waterfront chemical warehouse in the northern port led to hundreds of injuries, at least 121 lives lost, and 54 missing. Among those who perished were 67 firefighters, while 37 more of the heroic men are missing. 11 policemen are also said to be either dead or missing – a big blow for first responders in the country.

Impacts to the Environment and Shipping. Aside from lives lost or negatively impacted by the disaster, there are lingering concerns over hazardous materials; cyanide levels hundreds of times the safe level have been detected in certain areas. Damages to marine (like port buildings and warehouses) and non-marine property (such as residential structures and transportation infrastructure) is also considerable, and shippers are waiting on information regarding immediate damage to goods, containers and facilities on or near the site.

There may also be a disruption in the logistics operations and the shipping of many goods in the longer term, as Tianjin is not just one of the world’s largest ports, it is also accessible to northern China’s supplies and production facilities. Another potential impact of this is a rise in the price of some industrial materials, as the explosion occurred in a warehouse which handled much of Tianjin’s hazardous chemicals. Ripple effects may also be seen in complex insurance claims, and disputes on sale contracts of exports between Chinese suppliers trying to find alternative means of shipping goods in a timely fashion, and buyers from all over the world.

Several of Tianjin’s terminals are said to be unaffected by the blast, though, and miles from the site of the explosion, port operations are reportedly returning to normal. Some logistics companies are also making adjustments for alternate routes and diverted shipments, including stops to the Dailan and Qingdao ports, and even to Shanghai.

Investigation into the incident is expected to include the owners of the warehouse – Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics, according to reports – whose manager has been arrested; those who owned and manufactured the hazardous cargo; and possibly the port authority, Tianjin Port Development.

We at Kemplon Engineering are one with the maritime community in condoling with those whose lives are negatively affected by this tragedy, and hope for prompt answers that will not only bring closure to those who had lost loved ones, but also help to prevent the accident from happening again in the future.

For more articles relating to the maritime industry, explore our frequently-updated blog. You may also want to check out our website and learn more about Kemplon Engineering, and the wide range of services we offer to our marine and industrial customers. We have been in the business since 2005, and we just might have the solutions you need for your engineering projects. We provide welding and fabrication, precision machining, pipe fitting, laser cutting services and more. Contact us for queries and quotes at, or by phone at (877) 522-6526.


“Death toll rises to 121 in China’s Tianjin port explosion .” Economic Times, 22 Aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015.

Morris, David Z. “Tianjin port explosion short-circuits electronics industry.”, 14 Aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015.

Page, Paul. “Tianjin Port Operations Returning to Normal.” The Wall Street Journal, 19 Aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015.

“Tianjin Port explosion, August 2015.” Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide, 17 Aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015.

“[Updated] [Watch] Death Toll Rising Following Tianjin Port Eruption.” The Maritime Executive, 12 Aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015.

” Image “Disaster Word Displays Emergency Calamity And Crisis” courtesy of Stuart Miles at