[SINGAPORE] The deadly explosions in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin have disrupted chemical and oil tankers going in and coming out of the port, trading and shipping sources said on Thursday.
Two huge explosions tore through an industrial area where toxic chemicals and gas were stored in Tianjin, killing at least 44 people and injuring hundreds, officials and state media said on Thursday.
A crew member on board the 317,713 deadweight tonne very large crude carrier Samco Europe confirmed they had been told to stop discharging their crude oil cargo at about 0715 GMT. "The port authority told the ship to stop because there is still a risk of explosion due to the fire. They wanted all activity stopped," said one of the officers on board the ship, adding it was unclear when reloading could restart.
Another trading source was told by a port agent that shipping had halted. "Because of the explosions in the Tianjin port area, no chemical and crude (oil) tankers are going in or out at the moment," said the source.
Tianjin is the home port for some of China's strategic oil reserves, which the government is currently filling up.
Reuters shipping data showed that there were currently more than two dozen tankers, including oil and other petrochemical products, in the Tianjin port region, either waiting to get in or leave the harbour zone.