UPDATE – Death Toll in Blasts in Chinese Port of Tianjin Rises to 104
UPDATE (8:38 a.m.) Chinese state media say the death toll from massive blasts in the port of Tianjin has risen to 104.
The new toll comes as rescuers scour the warehouse district devastated by a fire and series of explosions late Wednesday at a warehouse for hazardous chemicals.
Rescuers also found an additional survivor Saturday as authorities evacuated much of the area to clean up dangerous chemical contamination. Several additional small explosions rocked the disaster zone as the clean-up continued.
The toll includes at least 21 firefighters — making the disaster the deadliest for Chinese firefighters in more than six decades. Several remain missing.
A total of 720 people were injured in the disaster in Tianjin, a key port and petrochemical hub east of Beijing.
TIANJIN, China (AP) — Chinese authorities have ordered the evacuation of a 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) zone around the northern port city of Tianjin over chemical contamination fears from blasts and fires that continue to rage.
Police and military staff are deployed at checkpoints leading to the explosion site, and helicopters are hovering above.
The death toll from Wednesday's inferno and blasts that began at a warehouse storing hazarous materials has reached 85, including 21 firefighters.
Burning flames are still visible on Saturday, and explosions have been reported by witnesses and state media.
Authorities are yet to determine the full list of chemicals on site. State media say there are large amounts of sodium cyanides, which is combustible upon contact with water.