Four new fires at China blast site

Beijing, Aug 21 (IANS) Firefighters are racing to put out four new fires which broke out on Friday in the area damaged by the huge explosion that took place on August 12 in Tianjin city of China.

One of the fires began in what the emergency workers called the “tomb of cars”, the logistics park in which at least 3,000 automobiles were torched in the two blasts, while the other three fires are in the central blast zone, reported Xinhua.

More than 4,460 soldiers and police officers have been called in to collect thousands of tons of dangerous chemicals and clean the area damaged by the blasts, said Liao Keduo, top military commander of the search and cleanup operation.

The warehouse was storing about 40 substances including around 1,300 tonnes of oxide compounds, mainly potassium nitrate and ammonium nitrate; 500 tonnes of inflammable materials; and 700 tonnes of highly toxic substances, mainly sodium cyanide.

The death toll in the blasts has risen to 116, while another 60 people are missing. About 700 people were hospitalised.

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