Residents Want Compensation in Tianjin Blasts

Residents Want Compensation in Tianjin BlastsResidents Want Compensation in Tianjin Blasts

About a hundred people whose residences were damaged in the massive Tianjin blasts gathered Monday for a protest to demand compensation from the government as the death toll from the disaster rose to 114 with 70 still missing, including 64 firefighters and six policemen.

The blasts on Wednesday night originated at a warehouse for hazardous material where 700 tons of sodium cyanide were being stored in amounts that violated safety rules, AP reported.

That has prompted contamination fears and a major cleanup of a 3-km radius in the port city southeast of Beijing.

“We victims demand: Government, buy back our houses,” said a banner carried by the residents at a protest outside the Tianjin hotel where officials have held daily news conferences about the disaster. “Kids are asking: How can we grow up healthy?” read another banner.

On Monday, He Shushan, a deputy mayor, confirmed there were 700 tons of the toxic chemical sodium cyanide on the site at the time of the blasts, although the authorities said there have not been any substantial leaks.

Analysts projected that the blasts could generate total insurance losses of up to $1.5 billion.

“It is still very early to determine the level of insured losses, but the event is likely to be large with initial insured loss estimates of $1 billion to $1.5 billion and a large number of insurance companies affected,” Credit Suisse analyst Arjan van Veen said on Monday.