The tremendous explosions triggered in the Chinese port city of Tianjin after two massive bursts at a nearby plant killed around 50 people and injured more than 700 have also taken a toll in vehicles.
While the cause of the explosions is still unknown, automakers have been affected as well by the blasts – around 4, 000 Hyundai-Kia vehicles, 2,750 Volkswagen cars and 1,500 Renault autos were destroyed, according to numerous reports. The vehicles were in the port on hold to be loaded and shipped away when the blasts occurred. Additionally, an official from Toyota said the company lost an unknown number of autos in the explosion – while two employees of a dealership in the vicinity were injured by broken glass – thankfully with no lives lost. The largest Japanese automaker and the interim second biggest in the world has a factory in Tianjin with its partner, FAW Group and the company recently unveiled the expansion of a new production line at the facility to deliver a production output of 100,000 autos at full throttle.
According to Bloomberg, the Renault vehicles lost in the aftermath could be worth $33 million, with both the French company’s autos and Toyota cars being stored in warehouses that were burnt down. The explosions occurred at a facility owned by Tianjin Dongjiang Port Rui Hai International Logistics Co. Ltd., a company that in the past has breached rules of international shipping, said several reports. The blasts were so powerful they were seen by space satellites and the geologic agencies in Japan and the US registered them as “seismic events.”