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Firefighters in Tianjin Blast
   2015-08-14 21:27:55    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Zhang Peng
The fatal blast ripped through Tianjin's Binhai New District on August 12 has left at least 56 people dead and 721 injured so far.

21 firefighters have been confirmed killed in the aftermath of the blast. 18 others remain unaccounted for at this time, and another 66 are in the hospital.

So far, the identities of six firefighters who lost their lives in the aftermath of the blast have been confirmed. The names of the deceased firefighters are Shao Junqiang, Tian Baojian, Yang Gang, Yin Yanrong, Yuan Hai, Zhen Yuhang. Four of them were born after 1990. The oldest one was only 30 years old, and the youngest one had not reached the age of 18.

Their photos have also been released.

Shao Junqiang, born in January, 1985

Yin Yanrong, born in January, 1990

Tian Baojian, born in May, 1985.

 Yuan Hai, born in September,1997.

Zhen Yuhang, born in August, 1993.

Yang Gang, born in July, 1992.

A Firefighter's Message

A screenshot of the message sent out by a firefighter. [Photo: weibo.com]

A message sent out by a firefighter while he rushed to battle the deadly blazes in Tianjin is widely circulated on Weibo and Wechat.

In the message, the unnamed firefighter told a friend to help take care of his father and sweep his mom's tomb if he himself died.

If We Do Not Rush into the Site, Who Will?

The photo shows the 27-year-old firefighter Yang Kekai [Photo: weibo.com]

27-years-old Yang Kekai was one of the 30 firefighters first dispatched to the site for rescue.

He said "Fighting the fire is our duty. If we do not rush into the blast site, who will?"

Yang was hospitalized for several injuries around his body. He could barely move due to the wounds and only lied on a hospital bed to receive medical treatments.

Yang recalled what happened at the blast site.

Upon arrival, Yang saw a number of containers on fire. "A number of containers were engulfed by the fire, which covered an area of 70 square meters, and the flames went up to almost 10 meters high, " said Yang, "All the 30 firefighters started to put out the fires with water cannons immediately. I was around 60 meters from the fire, and some of our teammates were only around 30 meters from it."

"The fire spread rapidly. We did not know that an accident occurred." Yang told a reporter, "Fifteen minutes after we doused the fire, a blast suddenly happened."

The first explosion was not strong enough to overturn Yang. But after few seconds, the second blast hit the site. The massive shockwave of the blast blew him off and knocked him unconscious.

Yang said sometime later he recovered consciousness, and blood kept running down from his head. Yang found a container 10 meters away from him and crawled to it.

After finding a cover, Yang saw the complete devastation of the blast site. Some of his teammates who were able to move helped each other walk outside the blast site.

"I am very concerned for my teammates," Yang said, "They were sent into different hospitals. Some of them may be alive, but some may die. I know nothing about their situation. "

"Zhen Yuhang is dead," a teammate of Yang's, sitting beside him, said as he saw the photos of the six deceased firemen released on Weibo.

"I cannot bear to leave you, my brothers," Yang said tearfully.

Firefighter Rescued after Tianjin Blasts

The survivor rescued Friday morning from the explosion site is confirmed to be 19-year-old firefighter of Tianjin, Zhou Ti. [Photo: weibo]

A 19-year-old firefighter named Zhou Ti was rescued at 7:05 am Friday at the blast site. He was from the Binhai New District Brigade of Tianjin's Fire Department.

The firefighter was sent to the Tianjin Teda Hospital.

He is being treated in the Thoracic Surgery Department and is in stable condition.

Lives Cut Short

A picture posted on the personal Weibo account of Yuan Yuan, Yuan Hai's older sister, shows her sending off her brother to join the army. She wrote on his Weibo: "My brother will be much more handsome in that uniform when he's back in two years. Our whole family is proud of him. We kept smiling but couldn't help but cry when his couch set off."[Photo from Weibo]

The youngest firefighter lost in the blast was not even 18 years old. Yuan Hai was born in September 1997 in Yong'an Township, in southwest China's Sichuan Province. He would celebrate a significant birthday, his 18th, next month if he was still alive.

The governor of Yongan Town said: "We all felt deep grief after learning the news. We just told his family that Yuan Hai was seriously injured in the fires so as not to overwhelm them.

Yuan Yuan is Yuan Hai's older sister. After learning about the blast, she wrote on her  personal Weibo account on the morning of August 13: " The Tianjin Port is where my brother's rescue team is carrying out the operations. They must be on the front line of the blast. I am not able to reach him now. God bless my brother! God bless my brother! God bless my brother! (The important things must be said three times.)"

After being told their son was seriously wounded in the fire, Yuan's family decided to set off to Tianjin to him.

Finally, the governor of the township told them the truth.

"I need to go to Tianjin to see my son for the last time," said Yuan's father.

Yuan Hai's father and uncle headed to Tianjin on the morning of August 14.

Yuan's sister also received the sad news and expressed her grief on Weibo: "It cannot be real. How can you be so cruel to leave our parents to me? We expect nothing from you but your safety ˇ­we want you back."

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