In a desperate attempt to reassure the public, Chinese authorities have placed rabbits, chickens, and pigeons at the scene of last week’s massive explosions at a warehouse in the port city of Tianjin. The animals that were held in small but brightly colored cagessurvived after spending two hours at the site of the blasts, local media reported.
The images come after the news that Chinese authorities are investigating the deaths of thousands of fish that have washed up on the shores of the River Hai. The city officials have said they did not find dangerous levels of sodium cyanide in the river, and the fish died from an oxygen deficiency, not from poisoning.
Chinese authorities try to calm fears of Tianjin residents following blasts:
City officials have continued to say that the contaminants found in the wake of the blasts, including the deadly sodium cyanide, pose no risk to the public. The authorities have admitted that there were around 40 chemicals, which included more than 700 tons of the deadly chemical sodium cyanid, stored in the warehouse at the center of the explosion that killed 116 people.
But concern about longer-term environmental degradation and the potential impact on human health has grown this week, particularly after authorities confirmed that more than 700 tons of sodium cyanide was stored at the warehouse that blew up, Reuters reported.
Hazmat crews struggle with toxic cleanup in Tianjin, China:
Wang Hongjiang, vice mayor of the town, claimed 200 tons of sodium cyanide had already been collected as the clean-up operation continued. Contamination around the blast site was now under control, and the density of air pollutants in the immediate area has declined, he told Chinese news agency Xinhua.
Four new fires burned Friday within a disaster zone. The fires were spotted in a car parking lot and at three other locations within a 1.8-mile evacuated area, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The state-run Legal Evening News said firefighters put out the fire in the parking lot, and that cleanup work in the disaster zone soon resumed, reported the Daily News.
Tianjin, China Insane explosion and aftermath:
State media say technicians have detected cyanide levels up to 356 times the safe level within the evacuated zone.
However, no abnormal contamination was found outside the zone
This is China’s worst industrial accident in recent years, and is the deadliest for the country’s firefighters, of which 104 of the 176 are dead or missing. Authorities have said that there are 646 people who remain hospitalized, including 52 who are in critical or serious condition.
Wen Wurui, Tianjin’s environmental chief, denied that the spilled chemicals would “significantly influence human health,” but admitted many challenges remained. He told state media: “We can’t say when the cleanup work in the blast center will be finished.”