BEIJING, August 17. /TASS/. The death toll in a series of explosions at the warehouse in China’s northern port city of Tianjin has climbed to 114, while 70 reported missing, the Chinese Central Television (CCTV) said on Monday.
According to CCTV, 698 people undergo treatment in hospitals following last week’s tragic events.
A total of 54 bodies have been identified and they are 39 firefighters, five law enforcers and 10 local residents. Sixty more recovered bodies remain unidentified.
A powerful explosion rocked a warehouse storing chemical goods around midnight on August 12. Another major explosion followed as firefighters worked at the scene. Eyewitnesses claimed that the blast shattered windows in buildings within a two-kilometer perimeter, while more than 1,000 cars burned down.
Over a thousand of firefighters are battling the fire in Tianjin. More than 1,500 military servicemen were sent to the scene to provide assistance.
A full-scale search and rescue operation is underway at the sight of the explosion. China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said that cyanide and other hazardous highly toxic chemicals were found at the site of the explosion. According to the ministry, a level of cyanide exceeded the norm by eight times in one of drain pipes in the emergency area.
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram to Chinese President Xi Jinping, expressing condolences over the tragedy in Tianjin. Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov offered assistance to China’s social security minister in dealing with the aftermath of the explosions.