An area spanning a 3 kilometre radius from the epicentre of Tianjin explosion in China has been evacuated due to fears of chemical poisoning and further deaths.
According to BBC News, local authorities have confirmed that high concentrations of sodium cyanide, an extremely toxic chemical, was stored at the site. Inhalation exposure with the chemical results in rapid death, sometimes within minutes.
A tweet by the People’s Daily China newspaper also said the military’s anti-chemical warfare soldiers had been deployed to the site.
— People’s Daily,China (@PDChina) August 15, 2015
The order for residents and businesses in the immediate area to evacuate comes after a wind change that could spread toxic gases and particles inland. Up until Saturday, the wind was blowing towards the sea.
The death toll from the two explosions on Wednesday has risen to 104 people, including 21 of the 1,000 firefighters who responded to the incident. The explosion and smoke was seen from space:
— NASA Goddard Images (@NASAGoddardPix) August 14, 2015
— CityLab (@CityLab) August 15, 2015
Additionally, over 700 people have also been injured, with many having incurred serious and life-altering injuries.
Fires continue to burn in and around the Tianjin site, and several new fires with explosions were started earlier this morning. A number of cars in the area caught fire and exploded.
A total of 8,000 new vehicles were destroyed in the blast, Auto News reports. This includes 2,750 Volkswagens, 4,000 Hyundai-Kia vehicles and 1,500 Renaults.