The explosion at a factory in Tianjin, which left a mushroom cloud, devastated huge areas of the city's port, which is the 10th largest in the world.
Thousands of vehicles made by at least four automakers were destroyed by a fiery factory explosion in the Chinese city of Tianjin, Chinese media reported.
Nearly 2,750 of those vehicles were Volkswagens, the reports said. One of VW's warehouses was located close to the site of the explosions.
In a company statement, Volkswagen said it did not yet have an official tally of how many vehicles were destroyed. While the Tianjin port is out of service and damaged vehicles are assessed, the German automaker will make deliveries via ports in Shanghai and Guangzhou, the company said.
“At this time, we have already begun evaluating the state of our vehicles in all storage facilities at the Port of Tianjin,” Volkswagen said in the statement. “Under no circumstances will any cars damaged in this terrible accident make it to market.”
Additionally, 4,000 Hyundai-Kia vehicles and 1,500 Renaults also were destroyed in the wake of the blast, NBC News reported.
The damaged Renault cars have an estimated retail value of at least 210 million yuan ($33 million), based on the price of the cheapest model sold by Renault in China. The vehicles were in a warehouse, which caught fire and suffered severe damage, Renault said by e-mail.
Hyundai-Kia and Renault spokespeople also could not be reached for further comment.
The explosion at a factory in Tianjin, which left a mushroom cloud, devastated huge areas of the city’s port, which is the 10th largest in the world. At least 700 people were injured in the blast, 71 of them seriously, and at least 50 people were killed, according to the reports.
Tianjin is one of China’s biggest automobile shipping ports and a gateway to the northern parts of the country. Automakers shipping cars to the country would unload the vehicles and store them at the port before sending them off to various parts of the country. The city of more than 15 million people is situated about 75 miles from Beijing and connected to the capital by high-speed train.
Burnt cars are seen near the site of the explosions at the Binhai new district, Tianjin, Reuters reported.
Toyota lost a number of vehicles in the explosion, Toyota spokesman Aaron Fowles said, but the extent of the damage is not yet clear.
Two employees at a nearby Toyota dealership were also injured by broken glass, but the Japanese automaker said there were not employee fatalities at its Chinese facilities.
There were no reports of damages from General Motors or Ford Motor Co.
Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report.
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