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August 2015 Current Events: Disasters & Science News

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Here are the key events in science and disasters news for the month of August 2015.

  • Warehouse Explosions Kill Dozens in China (Aug. 12): At a warehouse in the port city of Tianjin, China, multiple explosions kill at least 114 people. Another 70 people are missing, including 64 firefighters. Dozens of homes are damaged in the blast. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the blast, including possible abuse of power and dereliction of duty. The warehouse stores hazardous materials, including 700 tons of sodium cyanide. Because of the explosion and the large amount of materials being stored, which is a violation of safety rules, a massive cleanup is underway in Tianjin.

  • Several Fires Rage in Western United States (Aug. 16): Firefighters work to contain several fires throughout multiple western states, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, and California. The wildfires are moving rapidly due to wind, heat, and drought conditions. Thousands of people are evacuated from the region. Many people in Washington have lost power. Several homes and buildings are destroyed in Oregon, Idaho, and California. In Montana, fires burn on the Flathead Indian Reservation and in Glacier National Park.

  • 2015 Washington Wildfires
    2016 Washington wildfires
    Source: Ted S. Warren for Associated Press

  • Plane Crash Kills Dozens in Indonesia (Aug. 16): Trigana Air Service Flight TGN267, a commercial aircraft, disappears during bad weather and crashes in a remote part of eastern Indonesia. All 54 people on board are killed. It is Indonesia's third major aircraft crash in the last eight months. (Aug. 18): According to the National Transportation Safety committee, Indonesian rescue teams reach the crash site and recover all 54 bodies as well as the plane's black box.

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