Screenshots of a text conversation between a firefighter and his friend in the wake of the massive explosions that rocked the the port city on Wednesday evening have been making the rounds on Chinese social media.
At least 50 deaths have been confirmed and over 700 people hospitalized with injuries after a blaze at a warehouse storing hazardous materials triggered a series of blasts at around 10:50 p.m. Among the dead are least 17 firefighters, the youngest of whom was just 18.
An exchange of text messages involving a firefighter on duty in the devastating aftermath of the explosion suggests that he and his fellow team members went in to combat the fires, still smoldering more than a day after the blast, prepared for the worst.
Read the exchange below (via CCTV News):
Fireman: Are you here bro?
Friend: Here, Here
Fireman: My phone can’t get any calls out
Gangzi is gone
He died, He died
Friend: Are kidding me?
Where are you?
Fireman: I’m in the car to Tanku… Tangu
Friend: Please call me right now
Fireman: I’m wearing all my gear, I’m the only person with a phone
Friend: Then please call me immediately tomorrow when you get home
Fireman: If I don’t come back, my father is your father
Remember to visit my mother’s grave
Friend: OK, your dad is my dad
Please be careful
The fireman is reported to have survived, according to CCTV.
Media revealed yesterday that one of the firefighters who’d died in the explosion had been married for just seven days before his life was cut tragically short. The wife of Yin Yanrong, a 25-year-old from Heilongjiang, was also pregnant with their first child.
Several of the firefighters who died battling the Tianjin blaze have been identified online and praised by web users for their heroic efforts.