- Title: CHINA-BLAST/VIGIL Residents mourn Tianjin blast dead
- Date: 18th August 2015
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 30 YEAR OLD MOURNER, ZHENG JUN, SAYING: "So many of them were just 18 or 19 year old fighters, I feel terrible. I can't do anything else but I can see them off." MOURNERS COMING FORWARD
- Embargoed: 2nd September 2015 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA6E2H5H7XJ1TH3E3GFXA2RLHDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A memorial service was held in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin on Tuesday (August 18) to pay tribute to victims of two massive explosions last week.
At a road near the site of the blast, local residents and volunteers presented flowers and bowed to show their respect to the victims.
Tuesday marks seven days since the dual blasts, and according to Chinese tradition this a key date on which to mourn the dead.
"The volunteers organised this event by themselves, we hope they can see that so many friends came to the site (of the explosion) to give them one last send off, we hope that our deceased brothers and sisters have a good onward journey (into the afterlife)," said Mr Ma, one of the event's main organisers.
Memorial services were also held in other locations in Tianjin on Tuesday morning, including at the blast site, temporary shelters, and residential communities, state television CCTV reported.
The death toll from the two blasts stood at 114. More than 700 people were injured and 57 remained missing, most of them fire fighters, officials said on Tuesday.
The explosions sent fireballs high into the sky and hurled flaming debris across the world's 10th-largest port, burning out buildings and shattering windows kilometers away.
Many of those at the vigil spoke of the bravery of the firefighters, especially those who were first on the scene and ended up losing their lives trying to fight the blaze.
"So many of them were just 18 or 19 year old fighters, I feel terrible. I can't do anything else but I can see them off," said 30 year old Zheng Jun.
The official Xinhua news agency said there had been another small explosion on Monday (August 17).
The government has confirmed there was about 700 tons of the deadly chemical sodium cyanide in the warehouse that blew up.
China's top prosecutor, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, has opened an investigation into the warehouse explosions.
Industrial accidents are not uncommon in China after three decades of fast economic growth.
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