China blasts toll rises to 104, victims include 21 firemen

 The toll from the massive warehouse explosions in China`s Tianjin city has risen to 104, local authorities said on Saturday.

Beijing: The toll from the massive warehouse explosions in China`s Tianjin city has risen to 104, local authorities said on Saturday.

A total of 721 people were hospitalised, including 58 in serious condition, Xinhua quoted a rescue official as saying.

The victims included 21 firemen, the officials said.

Two explosions, 30 seconds apart, rocked the Binhai New Area of Tianjin city on Wednesday. The initial blaze broke out at Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics warehouse, which deals with compressed gas, flammable liquid and toxic chemicals -- some of which become highly explosive when mixed with water. 

Officials from the anti-chemical warfare corps of the Beijing Garrison Command took samples of the explosives at the blasts site. The samples have been sent for analysis.

According to the ministry of environmental protection, as harmful cyanide compounds were found in drains near the site, workers have sealed off two outlets for rainwater and wastewater to prevent the spread of contamination.

In an emergency notice, the State Council Work Safety Commission said Tianjin`s deadly blasts revealed a lack of safety awareness among businesses and implementation of safety regulations.

The city has taken over 12 schools and three apartment buildings to accommodate 6,300 homeless residents.

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