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Tianjin Death Toll Rises to 112
International

Tianjin Death Toll Rises to 112

Authorities pulled more bodies from a massive blast site in the Chinese port of Tianjin, pushing the death toll to 112 on Sunday as teams scrambled to clear dangerous chemical contamination.

More than 700 people were injured and 95 people, including dozens of firefighters, are missing after a fire and rapid succession of blasts late Wednesday hit a warehouse for hazardous chemicals in a mostly industrial area of Tianjin, 120 kilometers east of Beijing, AP reported.

By Sunday, authorities confirmed there were “several hundred” tons of the toxic chemical sodium cyanide on the site at the time of the blasts, although they said there have not been any devastating leaks.

Sodium cyanide is a toxic chemical that can form a flammable gas upon contact with water, and several hundred tons would be a clear violation of rules cited by state media that the warehouse could store no more than 10 tons at a time.

The death toll includes at least 21 firefighters, making the disaster the deadliest for Chinese firefighters in more than six decades, while the figure could go much higher.

About 1,000 firefighters responded to the disaster and 85 of them remained unaccounted for on Sunday.

The Tianjin blasts are among the deadliest industrial accidents in China in recent years. In June 2013, a fire at a poultry plant in the northeastern province of Jilin killed 121 people. In August 2014, a dust explosion at a metal plant in the eastern province of Jiangsu left 97 people dead.

 

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