So far, Wednesday night’s massive explosions in Tianjin have brought up many questions and few answers. A live press conference earlier this morning wasn’t terribly helpful in shedding light on the tragic disaster that has claimed at least 50 lives either, after it was abruptly cut short following some uncomfortable questions from reporters.
After reassuring reporters that the potentially hazardous air was being blown away from the city, a government spokesperson tried to leave the conference but was bombarded with questions. Eventually, he gets one he isn’t prepared at all to answer, leading to some extremely awkward silences.
Here’s our transcript:
“According to regulations, how far away should hazardous materials be stored from residents?”
[uncomfortable grunting noise]
“And, according to environmental regulations, how far should pollutants be from residential areas?”
[more stunned silence]
“Uh… There is a standard.”
[officials look at each other in total confusion]
And then we are back to a very flustered looking anchorperson who cuts to commercial as quick as she possibly can.
In fact, it turns out that there is in fact a standard!
According to People’s Daily, Chinese law for businesses involving dangerous chemicals states that such materials should be stored at least 1,000 meters from public buildings and transport networks. But, it turns out that there are three major residential communities within 1 kilometer of the warehouse.
Residents living 500 to 2,000 meters from the area told the Global Times that they were not even aware of dangerous chemicals in the warehouse, and certainly didn’t receive any warnings when they bought their apartment.
Here’s the awkward mess. Watch it for yourself: