Death Tianjin blasts toll touches 150

 Death toll in massive explosions in a warehouse in China's major port city of Tianjin continued to rise nearly three weeks after the country's worst industrial disaster and mounted to 150 on Sunday even as 23 people still remained missing.

Beijing: Death toll in massive explosions in a warehouse in China's major port city of Tianjin continued to rise nearly three weeks after the country's worst industrial disaster and mounted to 150 on Sunday even as 23 people still remained missing.

The dead include 92 firefighters, 10 policemen and 48 others, officials said.

Those missing include 12 firefighters, one policeman and 10 others.

A total of 367 people remain in hospital, including 20 in critical or serious condition, they added.

Twin massive explosions and a series of minor ones ripped through a warehouse storing hazardous materials on August 12 and unleashed fireballs strong enough to light up the night sky and rain down debris, causing casualties running into hundreds.

The warehouse was storing large amounts of toxic chemicals, including around 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide.

More than 300 primary and middle schools in the Binhai New Area, where the port is located, will open the new semester tomorrow as scheduled, and 16 kindergartens and schools damaged in the explosions have been fully repaired, the area's publicity office said.

Yesterday, 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 zone, with the worst about 23 times the level officially regarded as safe.

A?dozen people were detained for the explosions and 11 officials and port executives were accused of dereliction of duty or abuse of power. 

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