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Death toll in China's Tianjin blasts rises to 160

Death toll in China's Tianjin blasts rises to 160

The casualties include 96 firefighters, 11 policemen and 53 civilians.

Beijing: With the death of two more persons, the toll in China's worst industrial disaster on Wednesday rose sharply to 160, nearly three weeks after a series of huge blasts struck a toxic chemicals warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin.

The death toll from the Tianjin warehouse explosions rose to 160 with 13 people still missing, local officials said.

The casualties include 96 firefighters, 11 policemen and 53 civilians. The missing include eight firefighters and five civilians, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Two blasts ripped through a warehouse in Tianjin Port where large amounts of toxic chemicals were stored, including around 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide on August 12.

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

On Monday, more than 300 primary and middle schools in the Binhai New Area, where the port is located, opened for the new semester as scheduled, local authorities said.

On Sunday, 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 exclusion zone, with the worst about 20 times the level officially regarded as safe.

first published:September 02, 2015, 17:02 IST