Blast rocks Tianjin port city again, two months after fatal explosion

Two months after massive explosions left 173 people dead or missing in a major port city in northern China, Tianijn has been rattled again by a warehouse blast.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday that a blast hit a warehouse for alcohol materials in the city Monday night and started a fire.

No casualties have been reported, Tianjin government’s news office said in an online statement.

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It said 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds) of alcohol were being stored in the 700-square-meter (7,500-square-foot) warehouse, along with 1,000 kilograms of acetic acid, which can be used in the making of plastics and pharmaceuticals.

The warehouse had been illegally rented from a local resident by a company registered in nearby Hebei province, the Tianjin government said.

It said the incident posed no hazardous risks to people or the environment.

Workplace safety hazards abound in China. In August, a warehouse complex storing large amounts of hazardous chemicals caught fire and exploded in Tianjin, killing 165 and leaving eight missing.

The disaster raised questions about corruption and government efficiency. Investigations into the August 12 blasts at the Ruihai International Logistics warehouses showed they were located closer to homes than permitted, and stored much more hazardous material than authorized, including 700 tons of highly toxic sodium cyanide.

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