Death Toll in Tianjin Explosions Reaches 112; More than 90 Still Missing

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The death toll from the massive explosions in the northeastern Chinese city of Tianjin has increased to 112 with whereabouts of at least 90 still unknown as of Sunday morning.

Crews searched for an unknown number of civilians and soldiers who are believed trapped by multiple explosions that killed at least 112 people this week in this eastern Chinese city, CNN reported on Sunday.

As of Sunday morning, more than 50 people have been rescued in Tianjin, city government spokesman Gong Jiansheng said. They include a 19-year-old firefighter who lay on the ground for hours with burns and a cracked skull until he was found, officials said.

Relatives of some of the 95 people missing stormed an official news conference demanding to know the whereabouts of their loved ones. Families wrote the names of missing people on posters lining a street outside a temporary shelter near the rescue site.

On Saturday, fires sent plumes of black smoke skyward near where explosions devastated a chemical warehouse in Tianjin on Wednesday.
But officials denied news reports that an evacuation order had been immediately issued for everyone within 1.8 miles (3 kilometers), with Gong calling the reports “false information.”

The Beijing News, citing the People’s Armed Police Force, had reported the evacuation order. CNN has reported that at least one disaster recovery shelter is located within the reported evacuation zone.

However, photographs made it appear that vehicles in a parking lot had caught fire rather than new explosions having taken place at the warehouse, as the Xinhua news agency had reported.

The first blasts on Wednesday, one of which carried the equivalent of more than 20 tons of TNT, left more than 700 people injured and thousands homeless, officials said. A man around 40 years old was reported to have been rescued from the site on Saturday.

Flames at the warehouse appeared Friday to be largely extinguished but residents worried about lingering contamination.

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