Double explosion rocked the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin on Wednesday, state media reported, claiming the lives of scores of people with the cause as yet unknown.
The death toll has climbed to 44 from two massive blasts that ripped through a warehouse in the city, according to rescue headquarters.
Twelve firefighters were among the dead.
A total of 520 people have been hospitalized, including 66 critically injured.
The official Xinhua news agency said the blast happened at around 11:30 pm (16:30 GMT), when a deafening bang was heard as plumes of flame lit up the sky, scattering dust dozens of meters into the air.