British travellers to China have been warned to stay away from the port area of Tianjin following last night’s devastating explosions in the city.
The alert was issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as the death toll from the blasts in the city in Hebei Province rose to at least 44 with hundreds injured.
Royal Caribbean International operates short cruises to Japan from Tianjin on Mariner of the Seas with the ship due back into the port on Saturday.
Other lines such as Princess Cruises use Tianjin for access to Beijing or as a departure point for longer itineraries in Asia and to Australia.
Hospitals in the northern city were reported to be overwhelmed with casualties following explosions reportedly in a warehouse storing dangerous and chemical goods.
The first explosion at about 11.30pm local time on Wednesday was followed by another, more powerful blast, seconds later. Shockwaves were felt several kilometres away, the BBC reported.
The FCO said: “There are reports of numerous casualties. British nationals should avoid the port area until the authorities give the all clear.”
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