Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Tianjin blasts: Death toll mounts to 135

The death toll from a warehouse blast in north China's major port city of Tianjin has risen to 135 while 38 people were still listed missing in the country's worst industrial tragedy, officials said today.

Those who were killed in the twin blasts included 81 firefighters, seven policemen and 47 others. The missing people include 23 firefighters, four policemen and 11 others, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.

All bodies have been identified.

Meanwhile, 582 people remain hospitalised, 36 of them in serious condition. A total of 216 injured people have been discharged from hospital.

Two blasts ripped through a warehouse on August 12 in Tianjin port where hundreds of tonnes of toxic chemicals were stored, including around 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide.

The explosions also seriously damaged two residential compounds nearby and gutted more than 3,000 new cars in a parking area close to the site.

Personnel are cleaning up the debris and chemicals at the blast site. Workers have partially restored power supply for some damaged buildings.

A total of 223 companies have resumed operation after a suspension due to the blast and 140 more firms are expected to restart production soon, according to local authorities.

The Tianjin port, located about 117 km from Beijing is operating normally.

Thousands of the blast-affected people have turned to their relatives for shelter or returned to their hometowns. Only 95 people remain in a school used as a temporary sheltering point.

Police have detained executives of the warehouse's owner, Tianjin Rui Hai International Logistics Co Ltd, including company head Yu Xuewei, a former executive at a state-run chemical company, and deputy head Dong Shexuan, son of a former police chief for Tianjin Port.

China's cabinet has promised a thorough investigation into the deadly blasts.

Wednesday 26 August 2015


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