China blast toll 114, 70 still missing


Beijing: The toll in the deadly warehouse explosion in China’s Tianjin blasts has escalated to 114 with 70 people still unaccounted for, authorities said on Monday.

A total of 54 bodies have been identified.

China Port Blast_12
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Minute traces of cyanide have been detected in water samples collected near the Tianjin port, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said.

The density of the dangerous chemical was below the normal limit, and will not pose a threat to the marine environment for the time being, Xinhua news agency reported.

Thirteen monitoring sites have been set up in the waters off Tianjin port and a total of 194 samples were collected.

The SOA said it would continue monitoring and release the related information in a timely manner.

Officials with Tianjin bureau of environmental protection said that the roughly 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide that had been stored at the site “remained mostly unaffected”.

Two massive explosions, which occurred in the port city in northern China just before midnight on August 12, have destroyed a large area.

Sodium cyanide at the periphery of the blasts area will be mostly collected and cleared by Monday evening, He Shushan, vice mayor of Tianjin said.

Meanwhile, the industry and information technology ministry ordered local regulators to conduct thorough safety checks on entities that deal with commercial explosives, with a focus on storage and safety regulations.

Any company found to have not corrected any irregularities will be ordered to halt production.

In addition, the ministry said it will “in principle” cease issuing new construction permits for industrial explosives factories.