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It's bad. We've been talking to close friends that live in Binhai New Area. They said windows are blown out of large residential several kilometers away. Total devastation. Now, they're dealing with grotesque environmental contamination. The stuff that blew is super toxic. They said the air smells like poison, people having trouble breathing.

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Sodium cyanide. Used mostly for extracting gold from the ore. Reacts vigorously to water upon contact, forming a poisonous gas that's among the fastest of all poisons. 1/3 of a gram is lethal dosage. The site that blew had 700 tons of it.

Maybe the folks in charge of safety were mathematically challenged.

Marc

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It's China. If there was a safe zone where, say, no smoking is allowed, you can be sure someone (or several people) are smoking. Safety inspectors risk losing guanxi if they do their job because it's a given that someone higher up has a deal going contrary to safety. If you point out that something is unsafe, you risk insulting your boss and you lose your job. Village political structure doesn't translate to modern industrial settings. It's a big problem in China.

There is focus on the sodium cyanide and whether or not the firefighters (that were spraying water everywhere) were made aware that they should not be using water in the presence of sodium cyanide. You can be sure that they were not made aware.

The degree of lunacy in China is impossible to convey. Hard lesson this time.

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