Residents near China blast site evacuated over chemical fears

2015-08-15 08:58
A firefighter walking past damaged vehicles after a series of explosions at a chemical warehouse hit the city of Tianjin. (STR, AFP)

A firefighter walking past damaged vehicles after a series of explosions at a chemical warehouse hit the city of Tianjin. (STR, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tianjin - Residents near the site of two giant explosions in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin were being evacuated on Saturday over fears of toxic contamination, the official Xinhua news agency said.

According to the Beijing News, armed police began carrying out the evacuations after sodium cyanide was found at the site, days after the blasts killed 85 people and triggered a fire authorities were still struggling to contain.

"Out of consideration for toxic substances spreading, the masses nearby have been asked to evacuate," Xinhua said.

Reports conflicted as to whether the evacuation zone extended to 2km or 3km from the site.

Xinhua said the blaze intensified at around 11:40 (03:40 GMT), adding that several explosions were heard in the area, but did not give details on what may have caused them.

The initial giant explosions had sparked concerns among locals who fear being cloaked in a toxic cloud, and residents and victims' relatives have railed against officials for keeping them in the dark about the scale of the incident.

China has a dismal industrial safety record and the disaster has raised fears of toxic contamination after officials said they were unable to identify precisely what chemicals were at the site at the time.

Personnel from sodium cyanide producers had been called in to the site as they had expertise to deal with the chemical, an official said earlier on Saturday.

Read more on:    china  |  tianjin blast
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.