Tianjin blasts: plans to turn site into ‘eco park’ mocked

Proposal to turn the crater from the explosion into lake described as ‘disgusting’

An aerial view of a large hole in the ground in the aftermath of a huge explosion that rocked the port city of Tianjin, China, in August, killing 161 people. Photograph: EPA/STR CHINA OUT

An aerial view of a large hole in the ground in the aftermath of a huge explosion that rocked the port city of Tianjin, China, in August, killing 161 people. Photograph: EPA/STR CHINA OUT

 

Chinese social media users are reacting with scorn at a Tianjin government idea to turn the site of twin explosions in August into an “eco park”.

Tianjin authorities proposed the idea to build the 24-hectare park called for input from the public. They said a monument in memory of the 161 people who lost their lives would be “given pride of place” in the park, according to state media outlet Xinhua.

There are also plans to build primary schools and kindergartens. However, the news has been met with derision online, with some questioning the priorities of the local authorities.

“This is disgusting. They’ve just skipped over the time for accountability and gone straight to the spin,” one user wrote on Weibo, China’s Twitter.

An artist’s impression of the park features a large lake that appears to be made out of the enormous crater made by the explosion. “Using the crater means they won’t have to waste their effort digging a lake” said one Weibo user.

The blasts occurred in a warehouse where 700 tons of sodium cyanide – a toxic chemical that can form combustible substances on contact with water – was being stored in amounts that violated safety rules .

Residents have raised concerns that water and air around the site have been contaminated.

“They should call it a ‘chemical park’ not ‘eco park’,” said one Weibo user. – (Guardian service)