TIANJIN BLAST: Strongest measures urged in aftermath of Tianjin explosions

The death toll from the massive warehouse explosions on August 12 at Tianjin port was 116 as of August 21, with identities of 116 victims confirmed and 60 people remaining missing, according to the Emergency Rescue Command Center of Tianjin.

On August 20 that the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee stressed at a meeting that all the relevant authorities should heighten their sense of responsibility for public safety and complete their work by means of more powerful measures and more scientific methods.

The meeting also urged authorities to go all out to save lives and treat the injured, clean up the site, check for environmental damage, properly cope with the aftermath, strengthen the release of information and investigate and punish those responsible for the incident.

As long as there is a missing person, the search and rescue work won’t stop, Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun said on August 20. He also urged authorities to continue focusing the best medical resources on the injured.

After the masses of dead fish that washed up on the shores of Tianjin’s Haihe River triggered wide speculation, Tianjin’s environment monitoring center conducted sample tests for investigation, which didn’t detect the presence of cyanide. According to Deng Xiaowen, head of Tianjin’s environment monitoring center, so far all the water in sites that found cyanide content to exceed the normal standard has still been contained within the accident area.

Tian Weiyong, head of the emergency response center with the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said on August 20 that the ministry will dispose of the tainted water and will not discharge the water until it meets relevant environmental protection standards.

As regards environment checks, Tian said: “Monitoring results showed that the overall condition of air pollution in the core blast zone is currently controllable, with environment quality outside the core area still within the limits. Moreover, the substances of pollutants including benzene, toluene and xylene at various monitoring sites have not exceeded the limit.”

In addition, China’s key industries including ports and chemical factories have been carrying out safety inspections over the past several days.

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