More Than 100 Dead, 700 Injured in Chemical Blasts

August 17, 2015

1 Min Read
More Than 100 Dead, 700 Injured in Chemical Blasts

At least 100 people died and more than 700 were injured after multiple explosions Wednesday at a warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin, China, about 75 miles east of Beijing.

Officials said thousands of people are homeless as a result of the blasts and at least 70 people were still missing as of Sunday.

According to Gao Huaiyou, deputy director of the city's Work Safety Administration, the warehouse served as a temporary storage facility that housed materials after they arrived at the port. Although the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, officials said hazardous chemicals stored at the warehouse were ignited.

Authorities confirmed that hundreds of tons of the toxic chemical sodium cyanide had been on the site of the blasts late Wednesday evening. The containers were not open, and some were unregistered. Other dangerous chemicals likely to be stored include potassium nitrate and ammonium nitrate.

State prosecutors in China started an investigation to see whether owners of the warehouse were guilty of violating laws on the storage of hazardous chemicals.
About 1000 firefighters were sent to battle the fire, with 85 unaccounted for as of Sunday. The bodies of 88 victims remained unidentified as well.

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