Plan to turn Tianjin blast site into eco park met with derision and disgust

By Ella Wong, September 6, 2015

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Authorities in Tianjin have unveiled controversial plans to turn the site of the August 12 chemical explosions into a 24-hectare “eco park,” according to Xinhua. The redevelopment plans also include new primary schools and kindergartens in the area.

Unsurprisingly, the proposal has been met with a dismayed reaction online, with many shocked that a plan could be drawn up less than a month after the incident killed 160 people and with a dozen others still missing.

“The investigation still isn’t complete, those in charge still haven’t taken responsibility, the exact cause still hasn’t been determined, people who lost their lives and homes still haven’t been compensated,” wrote one commenter on Weibo.

“This is disgusting. They’ve just skipped over the time for accountability and gone straight to the spin,” said another quoted by The Guardian.

Many are also skeptical that the area will be cleaned up properly and recommended that local officials build their offices at the blast site rather than schools. Some 700 tons of sodium cyanide was being stored in the warehouse when the two massive explosions occurred. Experts have warned residents evacuated from the area to be extremely cautious of power in their damaged homes for fear that it could be the toxic substance which reacts with water to create the highly poisonous gas hydrogen cyanide. Fears of lingering chemical contamination were compounded when thousands of dead fish washed ashore a week after the explosions.

Other online comments drew attention to the lake in the center of the proposed park, which appears to be a neat solution to fill in the giant crater caused by the blasts. “The person who came up with that idea is a genius,” snarked one commenter.

[Image via icaijing]

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