Death toll from Tianjin explosions climbs to over 100

Death toll from Tianjin explosions climbs to over 100

Fires shot plumes of black smoke into the sky Saturday at the site of a chemical warehouse in Tianjin, China, where explosions earlier this week killed at least 105 people.

But officials denied news reports that an evacuation order had been issued for everyone within 1.8 miles (3 kilometers), with Tianjin government spokesman Gong Jiansheng calling the reports “false information.”

The Beijing News, citing Armed Police, had reported the evacuation order. CNN has reported that at least one disaster recovery shelter is located within the reported evacuation zone.

However, photographs made it appear that vehicles in a parking lot had caught fire rather than new explosions having taken place at the warehouse, as the Xinhua news agency had reported.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Saturday that the Tianjin blasts and other recent accidents exposed severe problems in workplace safety and urged authorities to heed “safe growth” and “people’s interest first” in efforts to avoid such accidents, Xinhua reported.

The president also “urged authorities to learn from the ‘extremely profound’ lessons paid for with blood” in the Tianjin explosions, Xinhua reported.

Xi is demanding improvements to workplace safety, the agency added.

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