Residents of a housing complex near the site of two powerful explosions in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin were forced to evacuate on 13 August, after the blasts severely damaged buildings and destroyed a temporary housing structure. The blasts killed at least 44 people, officials and state media said.

At least 520 people were injured, more than 60 of them seriously, the Tianjin government said on its Weibo microblog. The blasts on 12 August sent shockwaves through apartment blocks kilometres away in the port city of 15m people. Dan Aigio, 48, who lived in temporary housing behind a residential complex, said the building was destroyed almost instantly.

"Our dormitory was collapsed, we cannot see it now, it's collapsed. At the time it happened it was very horrible. I rolled off the bed after the first shock wave hit, so I scrambled to run for my life. When I reach downstairs the second blast happened. It's as if the sky collapsed. In a blink of an eye the roof fell," he said.

Liu Yong, 43, a resident of the housing complex, says many of the injured were migrants living in the temporary building.

"The power of shock wave was so big, it ripped off the windows and doors. The roof collapsed and injured people. They were bleeding," he said.

The explosions also caused severe damage to the residential complex itself, shattering windows and blowing steel doors off their hinges.

Families also sought shelter and medical attention in a makeshift camp in an elementary school. Dozens of tents were set up in the compound of Teda No 2 Elementary School to provide assistance to the injured and their relatives and volunteers attended to their needs.