About 6,300 people have been displaced by the blasts and around 720 people were injured, including 33 who are in a serious condition.
The government admits it does not know the contents of the warehouse’s chemical stockpile – and attempts to reassure the city’s residents that they are safe and the air is clean are viewed with suspicion.
At a news conference Saturday, officials said those who died in Wednesday’s blasts included at least 21 firefighters.
As a trans-shipment facility, items were normally only kept for brief periods and “the types and amount of the unsafe materials are not fixed”, he said.
The evacuations came as police confirmed the highly toxic chemical sodium cyanide was found near the site.
What is the environmental toll?
Wen Wurui, head of Tianjin’s environment protection bureau, told a televised briefing that harmful chemicals detected in the air were not at “excessively high” levels.
Several social media posts in the wake of the blasts have drawn attention to Tianjin’s emergency responders.
Stuart Prescott, a senior lecturer in chemical engineering at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said water was recommended to extinguish the two nitrates but a chemical powder was needed for calcium carbide.
How long will the fires keep burning? Images on state television showed rescue workers massing around the still-smoking site in a warehouse district of Tianjin.
Firefighters have mostly extinguished the flames at the site, according to Zhou.
One property developer with a project in the area, China Vanke Co., said warehouses there were storing “normal goods” when it received land rights in 2010 to develop nearby.
“There was no chance to escape, and that’s why the casualties were so severe”, the fire head said. The writers have focused not only on the firefighters’ youth and vulnerability, but also their possible role in precipitating the explosions, which shot massive fireballs into the air and caused shock waves so intense that they shattered windows miles away.
Officials didn’t address the issue directly at the news conference Friday morning.
Officials revealed that the warehouse belongs to Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai global Logistics.
Authorities in Tianjin appeared to have been concerned recently about the handling of hazardous materials at the port.
Xi is demanding improvements to workplace safety, the agency added.
How many lives did the explosions claim?
The death toll from explosions has risen to 85, local officials said. One firefighter was rescued from the ruins of the warehouse early Friday.
At least 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide were stored at the blast site according to an initial report by Beijing News published on Thursday.
Tianjin, with a population of about 15 million, is being promoted by the Chinese government as a center for finance and high-tech industry.
Records at the site were destroyed in the disaster, meaning that authorities must rely on customs documents, said Gao Huaiyou, deputy director of occupational safety in Tianjin.
China has said that it will conduct nationwide inspections of businesses that handle unsafe chemicals following explosions that killed dozen of people.