112 dead, 95 still missing after Tianjin blasts

 Photo taken on Aug. 15, 2015 shows a scene of the warehouse explosion site in Tianjin, north China [Xinhua]

Photo taken on Aug. 15, 2015 shows a scene of the warehouse explosion site in Tianjin, north China [Xinhua]

Chinese officials have revised the death toll from the deadly Tianjin blasts to 112, while 95 are still missing even as Chinese leaders have asked for introspection and radical improvements to workplace safety.

More than 50 people have been rescued in Tianjin after multiple blasts at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin in north China on Saturday.

President Xi Jinping said that the Tianjin blasts and a string of recent accidents exposed severe problems in China’s work safety, and that authorities must always keep “safe development” and “people’s interest first”.

He said the country needs better emergency response mechanism, greater implementation of work safety regulations, and careful checks of all possible safety risks, to achieve “substantial improvement” in work safety.

The accountability system must be put into practice earnestly in order to prevent dereliction of duty, he added.

Distraught relatives of those killed and those still missing confronted officials at a government press conference on Saturday.

The Chinese Cabinet on Saturday had called a national tele-conference to lay out work on a national safety inspection that will target industries related with dangerous chemicals, explosives, fireworks, elevators, non-coal mines, public transport and ports.

Following the blasts, online rumours that fueled further panic included posts that claimed “the blasts killed at least 1,000 people,” “shopping malls in Tianjin got looted” and “leadership change in Tianjin government.”

China’s internet regulator has initiated a crackdown on the websites that were “spreading rumors after major disasters” said Chinese agency Xinhua.

In a statement released on late Saturday, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) accused 50 websites for creating panic by publishing unverified information about the blasts.


TBP and Agencies

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