China Blasts Toll Rises to 55

Published: 14th August 2015 02:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2015 02:43 PM   |  A+A-

BEIJING:  The toll in the deafening blasts which ripped through a warehouse in China's Tianjin city rose to 55 on Friday, the media reported.

The two explosions, 30 seconds apart, rocked the Binhai New Area of eastern Tianjin at around 11.30 p.m. on Wednesday. A fire was first reported at 10.50 p.m. in a warehouse storing hazardous and potentially toxic materials, the Global Times reported on Friday. 

The initial blaze broke out at Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics warehouse, which is licensed to handle compressed gas, flammable liquid and toxic chemicals - some of which become highly explosive when mixed with water. 

Executives from the company have been detained for questioning. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Over 700 people were injured.

According to People's Daily, at least 18 others are listed as missing and 70 others are in critical condition.

Another small explosion occurred at the blast site earlier on Friday. White smoke emanated, but no immediate damage or casualties were reported.

Search teams found a survivor on Friday.

The survivor was 19-year-old firefighter Zhou Ti, Xinhua news agency reported.

Tianjin's fire department chief Zhou Tian told reporters that over 1,000 firefighters and 140 fire engines battled the flames.

Almost 10,000 new cars were ruined following the blasts, with Renault and Volkswagen suffering the most, sources said.


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