China blasts toll rises to 158

Beijing, Aug 31 (IANS) The death toll in the warehouse explosions in China’s Tianjin city has risen to 158 while 15 others still remain missing, rescue authorities said on Monday.

The dead include 94 firefighters, 11 policemen and 53 civilians. The missing people include 10 firefighters and five others, reported Xinhua news agency.

Around 11.30 p.m. on August 12, two blasts ripped through a warehouse in Tianjin Port where large amounts of toxic chemicals were stored, including around 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide.

On Sunday, no excessive levels of pollutants were found in the air outside the exclusion zone, but high levels of cyanide were detected from water samples from inside the exclusion zone, with the worst about 20 times the level officially regarded as safe.

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