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Cyanide Levels in Tianjin 28 Times over Safety Standard
   2015-08-18 17:31:43    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo Jing

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Officials in Tianjin say that air samples are under pollution limits while cyanide levels in some water samples are more than 28 times over the recommended safety level at the blast site.

CRI's Qian Shanming has more.

 

Tianjin authorities held a press conference on Tuesday morning giving an update on the latest results on air and water pollution monitoring in the city.

Bao Jingling, chief engineer of Tianjin Environment Protection Bureau, says there are 40 points in total for monitoring water pollution, 26 within the caution zone where 76 samples were collected.

"With regards to the safety levels, in total there are 29 cyanide inspection sites. Of them, eight exceeded safety levels. All were within the blast site. The largest reading was 28 times over the safety standard. Outside the blast site there were 14 inspection sites but none have exceeded safety levels."

Bao says air quality is within normal range among all monitored sites.

He also says that in buildings nearby, no cyanide was detected; volatile organic compounds were detected but didn't exceed the allowed limit.

However he warned that risks are involved when entering the buildings as chemicals were blown inside them by the blast waves which broke the windows.

He advised the public not to touch the objects when they return home to retrieve their belongings. He also advised against spraying water on any objects.

Thunderstorms forecast for Tuesday are set to complicate recovery efforts from the blast.

Bao says they are prepared for heavy rain.

"If we find anything that exceeds, or even slightly exceeds, the safety standards, we have a preventative facility to make sure any cyanide pollution is up to standard. Then we will drain the water. There is one more method, we can strengthen the barriers sealing the site at the moment to combat against any heavy rain."

Zong Guoying, Standing Committee Member of the Tianjin Party Committee and Secretary of Binhai New Area, says over 6,000 residents were relocated after the blast.

"We immediately set 12 schools and three apartments as the relocation sites which can hold at most 15,000 people. On August 13, more than 6,000 residents were relocated here. By yesterday night, the number of relocated residents fell to 496."

Bao Yingxiang, commander of the Tianjin Armed Police Corps, says armed police have made all efforts to rescue the injured and detect the toxic chemicals.

"Up to date, we have sent 2,700 officers and soldiers with 1,800 sets of equipment to the blasts site. We control the blasts site, search for victims and rescue the injured, clear the wreckages and transport relief supplies."

On the same day, Tianjin observed a moment of mourning for the victims of the warehouse explosion.

The State Council has established a team to investigate the cause of the deadly explosions, promising to give a responsible answer to the public and seriously punish those found to be responsible.

The team is headed by Executive Vice Minister of Public Security Yang Huanning.

A total of 114 people have been confirmed dead, and 57 remain missing after two huge explosions occurred before midnight on Aug. 12 at a warehouse for hazardous chemicals at the Tianjin port.

For CRI, I'm Qian Shanming.

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