China sacks work-safety boss

Reuters

Yang Dongliang suspected of corruption

Reuters |

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TIANJIN, Aug. 25, 2015 (Xinhua) -- Rescuers draw waste water at the blast site in Tianjin, north China, Aug. 25, 2015. The death toll from a warehouse blast in Tianjin has risen to 135, All the dead have been identified, including 81 firefighters, seven p

China has sacked man in charge of the nation's work safety, Xinhua news agency said earlier today. Yang Dongliang is suspected of corruption, the agency said.

The news comes after terrible explosions killed more than 150 people earlier this month at a warehouse in the port city of Tianjin. Dangerous chemicals were stored at the warehouse, too close to people's homes and in massive quantities.

The government began investigating Yang last week. He is suspected of "serious breaches of discipline and hte law" Xinhua's report said. Yang has been stripped of his position as chief of the State Administration of Work Safety. 

A total of 139 people are now confirmed to have died, while 34 remain missing.

The government has not said Yang’s case is linked to the Tianjin incident, but the company that operated the chemical warehouse that blew up did not have a licence to work with such dangerous materials for more than a year.

Yang was vice mayor of Tianjin, a city of 15 million people, until 2012.