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UPDATE: Explosion in Hong Kong Earlier Today Caused by Metal Waste on Mainland Cargo Vessel

20 Sep 2010

Around 1:30AM Tuesday morning, there was reportedly a enormous explosion near Hong Kong’s Kowloon harbor and the Elements mall. The scene was frighteningly Cloverfield-esque.

Update 3: SCMP (paywall) now confirms that “a container on a mainland cargo vessel, carrying metal waste, exploded,” though a full investigation is still pending.

Update 2: RTHK reports a fire on board a ship in the Yau Ma Tei typhoon shelter left 12 firemen and six seamen wounded.

Update: According to AndreMartin’s Twitter feed, Pearl News alleges that the explosion may have been due to “magnesium metal.”

Details after the break:

The fire started somewhere before 1 a.m., and was later upgraded to a No. 3 alarm when a second explosion occurred, reports the SCMP. Firefighters used three jets to douse the flames. A crew of over 100 fire crew members were at the scene, and managed to extinguish the fire by 5:59 a.m.

The wounded, which included two firemen with serious facial burns, were sent to Prince of Wales, Queen Mary and Ruttonjee hospitals.

According to witness Jonathan Stray on YouTube:

“This is about 10 seconds after the flash, which lit the whole sky over Hong Kong orange for several seconds. The flame was several times higher initially; it’s at least 100 feet here. Looked like it might be on a boat but could also be somewhere near the shore in TST.”

According to gtr34skyline1985:

Saw a very large piece of bright yellowish glow from window, not a beam or ray. Then, split seconds after followed by a massive explosion sound, thought it was storm. Looked out of the window, and witnessed something like fireworks shooting up very high, shattering across the sea close to the ship / vessels sheltered area at West Kowloon. Not sure, but immediately thought it could be freight ship transporting firework materials that have exploded.

(Photographer: Farhat Jabeen; via Nicholas Shay)

[via WorldNews, SCMP, RTHK; images via]

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. weight permalink
    5 Oct 2010 10:13 PM

    i can has cheeseburger?

  2. 21 Sep 2010 7:44 PM

    Acid attacks, subterranean explosions, and now explosions in the sky; interesting times we are in.

  3. David permalink
    21 Sep 2010 8:45 AM

    Could it be possible to see this somewhere in Happy Valley?


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