A high-speed train, an ultra-modern airport, five-star hotels for business and leisure travelers from around the globe include American hotel groups The Ritz Carlton, The Westin Hotel, or the Renaissance Hotels. All of these luxury hotels are part of a busy downtown in the city of Tianjin in Western China. Frequented by business traveler and some leisure tourists, the city is a major travel destination and home of international companies in the People’s Republic of China.
Today it’s also a city of fear. The air may be deadly. Sodium cyanide may be blowing towards residential areas, prompting authorities to evacuate everyone within 3 miles from the deadly fires that broke out in the city’s harbor region.
eTN reached out to some of the hotels frequented by business travelers. The distance from the deadly fires to downtown is about 48 km. A concierge for the Ritz Carlton Hotel laughed and said there is absolutely no danger for his hotel guests.
As a dual-core city, Tianjin is divided into the old city and the Binhai New Area. Binhai New Area is a new growth pole in China, and it maintains an annual growth rate of nearly 30% of the GDP. As of the end of 2010, 285 Fortune Global 500 companies have established branch offices in Binhai. It is a base of China’s advanced industry, financial reform, and innovation.
New explosions and fire rocked Tianjin on Saturday.
Angry relatives of missing firefighters stormed a government news conference to demand information on their loved ones more than two days after the disaster.
The death toll in Wednesday’s inferno and blasts that devastated industrial and residential zones has climbed to 85, including 21 firefighters — making the disaster the deadliest for Chinese firefighters in more than six decades. Saturday is another deadly day of new explosions.
An unknown number of firefighters remain missing, and a total of 720 people have been injured in the rapid succession of explosions that began with a fire at shipping containers containing hazardous material at a warehouse.