China / Society

Two foreigners describe the Tianjin explosions

By Tang Yue in Tianjin ( Updated: 2015-08-13 17:51

Two foreigners describe the Tianjin explosions

Left: Stefan Andersen; Right: Adam Kaminski [Photo by Tang Yue/]

Danish citizen Stefan Andersen, who is now working for FH-International, an international engineering company located in Tianjin, tried to donate blood at Tianjin's TEDA Hospital on Thursday afternoon, but found it was a not a blood donation center. He talks to China Daily Reporter Tang Yue about his experience during and after the explosion:

I was woken up by the explosion last night. My apartment is just one kilometer away from the explosion. I woke up and went to the window and there was another explosion later. I was really shocked. I knew something was not right here. Then I just quickly put on some clothes and went downstairs to the street.

Then I calmed down and thought it was over, but I was not sure whether it was safe or not, so I went upstairs quickly and got my suitcase and stuff I need and went to my friend Adam Kaminski's place. We stayed up until 5 o'clock talking about this. I wasn't tired and it took some time to calm down again.

I experienced an earthquake in Alaska before, but that couldn't compare to this (explosion in Tianjin).

That earthquake was quite strong. I remember it was 5 am, but when I woke up it was over. But here (in Tianjin Binhai New Area), the building was shaking, jumping up and down. Nothing compares to this. Nothing.

I was definitely scared. We had no idea what was going on. Was it an attack or something? We had no idea.

I'm good now and it's also good to see people here are calm and no one is panicking at all. We want to donate blood here but it seems they don't need it at the moment.

Adam Kaminski, 29, from Germany, works for BRABUS, a vehicle company and lives in the No 13 Avenue of Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA). He has lived in Beijing and Tianjin for more than three years and was trying to donate blood at Tianjin's TEDA Hospital together with his friend Andersen on Thursday afternoon. He shared his experience of the explosion with China Daily:

I lived more than 10 kilometers away from the explosion site. But I woke up because of the “earthquake”, which I thought it was, though I never experienced an earthquake before.

I looked outside of the window and saw some of the explosions. I called my friend Stefan and asked him what happened. He didn't know either.

When I saw the pictures from the scene, I think they were like in a movie, a bomb testing. I've never experienced something similar before. I am trying to help but I don't know in what way.

I still think it's safe to work here (Binhai New Area of Tianjin) because this could happen anywhere. I think this place is a good place. I like it much more than Beijing and downtown Tianjin and I see it as my second hometown. I sometimes go to downtown for drinks, but I enjoy living here.

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