A massive explosion hit a "dangerous goods" warehouse in Tianjin, China, on Wednesday, killing at least 50 people and leaving emergency services staff trapped in the rubble.
The explosion in the Binhai New Area on the city's coast happened at about 11.30pm local time, with videos posted on social media showed a towering inferno above one of China's largest urban areas.
Reuters cited a statement by the city's government that 50 people were confirmed dead - including 12 firefighters - and as many as 700 injured, over 71 seriously. The Beijing News, an official outlet, reported that authorities had lost contact with 36 firefighters on the scene.
As many as eight fire engines were destroyed by the blast. Nearby, firefighters wept as they worked to extinguish the flames, Beijing News reported.
Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered a fast and comprehensive rescue operation, and promised a thorough investigation and severe punishment for any wrongdoing.