China blast death toll rises to 129

  • 24/08/2015
An aerial picture of the site of explosions at the Binhai new district, Tianjin, China (Reuters)
An aerial picture of the site of explosions at the Binhai new district, Tianjin, China (Reuters)

The death toll from a series of explosions nearly two weeks ago that rocked the northern port city of Tianjin has risen to 129.

There are still 44 people missing and 610 are in hospital, 39 of them critically injured, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing local officials.

The explosions at a hazardous goods storage facility on August 12 triggered a giant fireball and new fires broke out as recently as Friday.

China's powerful State Council, or cabinet, has vowed to conduct a "rigorous" investigation into the cause of the explosions, Xinhua said Saturday.

The owners of the hazardous goods storage company at the centre of the incident, Rui Hai International Logistics, reportedly included the son of a former police chief who used his connections to help the company obtain the necessary permits and pass inspections.

The blasts have also sparked fears of toxic pollutants contaminating the air and water of the city, which has a population of about 15 million people.

AFP