China blasts toll rises to 135

Beijing, Aug 25 (IANS) The toll in the deadly blasts in a warehouse in China’s Tianjin city has risen to 135, with 38 people still remaining missing, rescue authorities said on Tuesday.

All the dead have been identified, including 81 firefighters, seven policemen and 47 others. Those missing include 23 firefighters, four policemen and 11 others.

Meanwhile, 582 people remained hospitalised, 36 of them in serious condition, reported Xinhua news agency.

Two blasts ripped through a warehouse in Tianjin Port where hundreds of tonnes of toxic chemicals, including around 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide, were stored.

The authorities are cleaning up the debris and chemicals at the site of the blast which took place on August 12 around 11.30 p.m. (local time).

A total of 223 companies have resumed operation after a suspension due to the blast and 140 more firms are expected to restart production soon, said local authorities.

Police have detained executives of the warehouse’s owner company, Tianjin Rui Hai International Logistics Co. Ltd, including company head Yu Xuewei, a former executive at a state-run chemical company, and deputy head Dong Shexuan, son of a former police chief for Tianjin Port.

The State Council has promised a thorough investigation into the deadly blasts.

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