Toll At 112 In Aftermath Of China Blast; Nearly 100 Missing

August 16, 2015

More bodies were pulled from the wreckage of last week’s industrial explosion southeast of Beijing, raising the official death toll to 112, even as nearly 100 others were still missing, officials said.

Chinese authorities said that 85 of the 95 people unaccounted for were firefighters who responded to Wednesday’s massive explosions at a warehouse housing hazardous chemicals.

Meanwhile, the official Xinhua news agency reports that 50 websites had been shut down for “creating panic by publishing unverified information” about the accident.

According to The Associated Press:

“By Sunday, authorities confirmed there were “several hundred” tons of the toxic chemical sodium cyanide on the site at the time of the blasts, although they said there have not been any substantial leaks.

“Sodium cyanide is a toxic chemical that can form a flammable gas upon contact with water, and several hundred tons would be a clear violation of rules cited by state media that the warehouse could store no more than 10 tons at a time.”

Xinhua said Premier Li Kequiang had arrived at the scene of the blast on Sunday.

The BBC reports:

“At a news conference on Sunday morning, officials said they had identified 24 of the dead. Experts are carrying out DNA tests to help indentify the rest of the victims.

“At least 21 firefighters are among the dead. Of the 721 people injured, 25 are in critical condition and 33 are serious.”

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