Tags: china | blast | death | toll | evacutation

Death Toll in Tianjin Blasts Rises to 104 as Area Evacuated

Image: Death Toll in Tianjin Blasts Rises to 104 as Area Evacuated
A damaged fire truck belonging to a Tianjin fire brigade is seen at the site of the explosions in Tianjin on August 15, 2015. (Getty Images)

Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 10:12 AM

The death toll from Wednesday’s blasts at China’s northeastern port city of Tianjin has risen to 104 people late Saturday, as local media reported that authorities evacuated a three-kilometer zone around the site on contamination fears.

China has sent a team of nuclear and biochemical emergency military workers to the area to search for survivors, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement.

People were evacuated from the site amid chemical contamination fears, the Beijing News reported, citing unidentified people at local government agencies including traffic control and environmental protection.

The explosions at a storage site for hazardous materials exposed weaknesses in how chemicals are transported and stored in China, prompting the State Council Work Safety Commission to order nationwide inspections Friday. Local governments have until Sept. 15 to report back. Tianjin, the world’s 10th-busiest port, has become a gateway to northern China for shipments of metal ore, coal, automobiles and crude oil.

Preliminary forensic investigations of warehouse transactions show loading and arrival areas may have cargoes containing toxic chemicals including trichloroethylene and sodium cyanide, Gao Huaiyou, deputy director of the Tianjin Administration of Work Safety, said at a briefing Saturday.

People from nearby temporary shelters were evacuated around 10:50 a.m. local time Saturday as a change in wind direction may disperse hazardous pollutants, according to the Xinhua News Agency. Volunteers were seen telling people to wear long-sleeved clothes and masks, and leave in an orderly fashion, it said.

Air Quality

The air on Friday evening fell below the “safe standard,” forcing rescuers to temporarily leave the vicinity, Xinhua reported. The State Oceanic Administration has tried to soothe public concerns over pollution by saying that no hazardous chemicals were detected in waters off the blast site.

The death toll included at least 21 firefighters, the highest for a single rescue mission since the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, Xinhua reported. About 720 people were hospitalized, including 25 critically wounded and 33 in serious condition, the news agency said.

Officials acknowledged that first responders did not know what was on fire and used water to put out flames, which caused more explosions, according to Xinhua.

More than 1,000 firefighters, including 232 from neighboring Hebei province, remain on the scene, said Zhou Tian, the municipal firefighting bureau chief.

Executives of Tianjin Dongjiang Port Rui Hai International Logistics Co., the operator of the location of the explosions, are in police custody, Xinhua said Thursday. Shipping and logistics operations at the port were still disrupted Friday.

Tianjin is home to manufacturing operations for companies including Deere & Co., which said it temporarily suspended operations in the city.

 

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
GlobalTalk
The death toll from Wednesday's blasts at China's northeastern port city of Tianjin has risen to 104 people late Saturday, as local media reported that authorities evacuated a three-kilometer zone around the site on contamination fears.
china, blast, death, toll, evacutation
437
2015-12-15
Saturday, 15 Aug 2015 10:12 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved