An adorable brown-and-black puppy named Shenghua (meaning “chemical” in English) has become China’s unexpected symbol of hope after surviving the devastating explosions that recently rocked the city of Tianjin. The horrendous blasts – which killed at least 114 people and maimed another 700, with an estimated 70 people reported missing – originated in a warehouse which had been used to store hazardous chemicals.
Amazingly, Shenghua was pulled, unscathed, from the rubble of this very warehouse by soldiers from the Chinese anti-chemical warfare regiment. He does not seem to have suffered any adverse effects from the blast. It is not clear where he came from, or why he was in the warehouse at the time the explosions occurred.
In a city still reeling from the devastating loss of life, his miraculous survival has become a source of inspiration for many.
Two enormous fireballs, said to be “so big they could be seen from space,” ripped through Tianjin on Wednesday, Aug. 12.
Vast areas of the city were “razed to the ground” because of the explosions…
… and an enormous hole was created at the very centre of the blast site, where Shenghua was found.
In the aftermath of this tragic incident, Shenghua’s beaming face has brought comfort to all who have been lucky enough to spend time with him.
He has become deeply attached to his rescuers and follows them everywhere they go.
Tianjin resident Yang Yi Chan said, “We have been reading so many stories of death and loss, especially our young firefighters. So I am glad to hear how a tiny puppy has become a story of strength and kindness in China today.”
The fact that Shenghua is alive and in perfect health after the explosion is nothing short of miraculous.
Chinese officials confirmed on Sunday that several hundred tons of cyanide had been in storage at the warehouse in question – over 70 times the legally permitted amount. Rescue efforts are still underway, but for the families of those who have been reported missing, the hope of them being recovered alive is fading fast. Salvage teams are also working to clear the cyanide away from the site.
In the midst of this ongoing horror, Shenghua’s stunning tale of survival shines bright.
All image source: Daily Mail UK