Final death toll set at 173 in China warehouse explosion

In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, a man walks past the charred remains of new cars at a parking lot near the site of an explosion at a warehouse in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality. Rescuers have pulled a survivor from an industrial zone about 32 hours after it was devastated by huge blasts in China’s Tianjin port. Meanwhile, authorities are moving gingerly forward in dealing with a fire still smoldering amid potentially dangerous chemicals. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities say they’ve ended the search for the remaining missing in a massive chemical warehouse explosion last month. The move sets the final death toll at 173 in China’s worst industrial disaster in years.

The announcement on the Tianjin city government’s microblog says there is no hope of finding eight persons still unaccounted for. It says the court is now starting the process of issuing death certificates.

The eight include five firefighters, underscoring the explosion’s status as the worst ever disaster for Chinese first responders, more than 100 of whom were killed.

Investigations into the Aug. 12 blasts at the Ruihai International Logistics warehouses showed they located closer to homes than permitted, and stored much more hazardous material than authorized, including 700 tons of highly toxic sodium cyanide.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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