Toyota says to restart Tianjin plants post explosion

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015

Toyota Motor Corp plans to “gradually” restart from Thursday its manufacturing operations near the Chinese port of Tianjin, which has been halted after the deadly chemical explosions on Aug. 12, the company said on Wednesday.

“From tomorrow (August 27), we will be gradually restarting production (at the affected plants in Tianjin). We will continue to prioritize safety above everything else, and will proceed with caution while monitoring the situation,” according to a statement the company issued.

Toyota halted operations at two assembly factories in Tianjin in the aftermath of the Aug. 12 explosions in part because of what the company described as safety hazards from the blasts.

Two huge explosions tore through a warehouse storing dangerous chemicals in the northeastern city on Aug. 12, killing at least 116 people and sending shockwaves through apartment blocks kilometers away.

Authorities there were slow to release a list of the chemicals being stored, which included 1,300 tonnes of potentially explosive oxidizing chemicals.

Firefighters initially fought the blaze with water, which experts said may have combined with the chemicals to form an explosive gas.