Massive explosions rocked the north-eastern coastal city of Tianjin, killing at least 114 people, officials said, and devastating a large industrial zone and nearby residences.
At least 57 people are still missing, according to authorities.
Thousands of officials, fire-fighters, policemen and local residents mourned the victims at the blast site this Tuesday, bowing their heads and observing a moment of silence to pay their respects.
Questions over the companies license to work with dangerous chemicals:
Official news agency Xinhua said the company was licensed to handle dangerous chemicals at the time of the blasts but only obtained that license in June. A previous license had lapsed in October 2014.
The warehouse was a temporary storage facility that housed materials after they arrived at the port and before they were transported elsewhere, city officials have said.
Several hundred tons of sodium cyanide, a highly toxic chemical that can kills humans rapidly, have been found at two locations and are being cleaned up.
China\’s State Council has formed an investigative committee to \”give a responsible answer\” on the cause of the disaster and promised \”serious punishment,\” Xinhua reported Tuesday.
\”Many are questioning about the number of people killed in the blasts, the emergency assistance provided, and the handling of the aftermath. Some are even suspicious, with rumours circling,\” said a commentary in the People\’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party\’s mouthpiece.
\”In the face of an accident that has caused heavy losses of life and property, the central government\’s attitude is clear and resolute: a thorough investigation and severe punishment are beyond any doubt,\” it concluded.