Teen fireman who went missing in the aftermath of the Tianjin blast found alive

By staff writer

One fireman has been found alive, but at least 17 of his colleagues have been killed

By staff writer |

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Fireman Zhou Ti being treated after being found

A fireman has been found alive after he went missing whilst tackling the massive explosions in Tianjin on Wednesday night.

Zhou Ti, 19, was found at 7.05am this morning at the site of the blasts, city government officials said. No details were given about how Zhou was found or what condition he is in.

He was one of the first firefighters to go into the warehouse responsible for the blast, according to officials. Firemen were called to the blazing warehouse Wednesday night about 40 minutes before the first blast, according to the fire department.

At least 17 firefighters were killed at the blaze, state media reported. Many others are missing or being treated. The explosions killed at least 50 people, and left about 700 people in treatment.

The explosions were caused by chemical substances at a dangerous goods warehouse. Firefighters were pulled out of the area briefly on Thursday morning over fears they lacked knowledge of the dangerous substances they were dealing with.

Officials said the scene of the explosions was still dangerous for firemen, as chemicals in the warehouse could still trigger blasts.

Troops trained in chemical warfare have entered the site to check what dangerous substances remain. Authorities are considering sending teams into the core of the blast site to remove remaining hazardous materials.

Traces of cyanides and other chemicals, three to eight times the safety limits, were found in two underground drainage systems by the environmental ministry. All drainage outlets in the area have been shut to contain any polluted water.

Media in China have questioned why the giant dangerous goods warehouse was allowed to operate so close to homes and public buildings.

Officials said that the warehouse responsible for the blast, Ruihai International Logistics’ warehouse, was allowed to store hazardous goods for only 40 days while they were in transit.

They said company records were destroyed in the explosions so it was hard to find out what exactly was stored in the complex. They are now trying to go through customs records to find out.