Firefighters rushed to contain four new fires that erupted at the site of two huge chemical blasts that killed 116 people last week in the northeastern port city of Tianjin.
Chinese media report one of the “combustion points” was an automobile logistics center near last week’s explosion site, while the other three were within last week’s central blast area. No cause has yet been given for today’s fires.
Authorities say because the area had been evacuated last week, with permitted limited access, they were not expected many casualties, if any.
Last week’s explosions occurred in a giant warehouse used for storing chemicals at a industrial park in Tianjin. Authorities confirmed 700 tonnes of the deadly chemical sodium cyanide were stored at the Tianjin warehouse that blew up.
As well as those killed, 700 people were injured, many seriously, and thousands more were evacuated due to the risk from chemicals stored at the site. Authorities say 60 people are still unaccounted for.
Last week’s deadly blast forced Chinese authorities into action and highlighted lax safety standards across the country.
The Government order nationwide inspections of facilities handling dangerous chemicals and explosives were ordered by China’s State Council, with 100 chemical firms in seven provinces ordered to suspend or shut down operations due to safety violations – 39 in Zhejiang province, 19 in Hubei province, 26 in Anqing city in the southeastern province of Anhui, and two in China’s capital Beijing.
Although only two companies were ordered to shut down in Beijing, Beijing Work Safety Bureau authorities revealed they had found major safety hazards at 70 percent of companies handling dangerous chemicals in the capital.
In Beijing alone, an inspection of 124 sites that stored dangerous chemicals found hazards at 85 firms, Xinhua said late on Thursday, citing Beijing’s work safety bureau.
The State Council said all chemical companies must now start complying to safety standards and investing in and using the most advanced equipment available and hiring the best expertise in order to “prevent major environmental incidents in the future.”Stay Connected