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China: Death toll mounts after massive explosion

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China: Death toll mounts after massive explosion


The authorities in China have ordered anyone living within a three kilometre radius of a massive explosion at a chemical plant to leave their homes

The official news agency Xinhua says it is over fears that chemical contamination is spreading. The explosion was so big it was visible from space.*

The team from the Chinese military are checking for toxic gases in the surrounding area in the north-eastern port city of Tianjin.

What caused the explosion?

Officials quoted by the state news agency Xinhua say they are still not sure what caused the explosion, which was the equivalent of 24 tonnes of TNT exploding.

They say the extent of the damage makes it hard to identify which materials may have been present.

The government has ordered more stringent checks on dangerous chemicals nationwide.

Death toll mounts

It is now known the blast on Wednesday killed at least 85 people, including at least 21 firefighters – the biggest loss of live of emergency personnel since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

More than 700 people were injured; at least 25 of them are in a critical condition.

More than 6,000 local people have been forced to leave their homes and are currently staying in temporary shelters.

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