Death toll in Tianjin explosions reaches 112; more than 90 still missing

Updated 2:07 AM EDT, Sun August 16, 2015
A woman (C) holds a name list of missing firefighters as family members talk to media to seek for help after being barred from a press conference authorities have at a hotel in Tianjin on August 15, 2015. Furious, frustrated and fearful, relatives of the missing in giant explosions in Tianjin besieged officials on August 15 demanding answers on their loved ones's fates- only for security to intervene instead.CHINA OUT     AFP PHOTO        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
STR/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
A woman (C) holds a name list of missing firefighters as family members talk to media to seek for help after being barred from a press conference authorities have at a hotel in Tianjin on August 15, 2015. Furious, frustrated and fearful, relatives of the missing in giant explosions in Tianjin besieged officials on August 15 demanding answers on their loved ones's fates- only for security to intervene instead.CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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A resident injured by the explosions that hit a nearby chemical warehouse last week holds a photo of herself injured as she joins a protest outside the hotel where authorities are holding a press conferences in Tianjin on August 17, 2015. Rescuers at a Chinese industrial site where huge explosions killed at least 114 people combed through thousands of crushed shipping containers on August 17 in an effort to contain vast amounts of highly toxic cyanide, officials said, as state-run media lambasted authorities for their response to the tragedy. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images
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A resident injured by the explosions that hit a nearby chemical warehouse last week holds a photo of herself injured as she joins a protest outside the hotel where authorities are holding a press conferences in Tianjin on August 17, 2015. Rescuers at a Chinese industrial site where huge explosions killed at least 114 people combed through thousands of crushed shipping containers on August 17 in an effort to contain vast amounts of highly toxic cyanide, officials said, as state-run media lambasted authorities for their response to the tragedy. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images
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A damaged car is seen at the site of the massive explosions in Tianjin on August 13, 2015. Enormous explosions in a major Chinese port city killed at least 44 people and injured more than 500, state media reported on August 13, leaving a devastated industrial landscape of incinerated cars, toppled shipping containers and burnt-out buildings. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images
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An explosion took place in China's northern city of Tianjin late Wednesday, August 12, 2015 evening, according to China's state-owned broadcaster CCTV. The explosion occurred at a container port where flammable material was being stored in containers, says CCTV. Residents report hearing loud explosions and feeling strong tremors nearby. The Teda Hospital, located near the scene of explosion, has received more than 50 injured people, the country's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
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An explosion took place in China's northern city of Tianjin late Wednesday, August 12, 2015 evening, according to China's state-owned broadcaster CCTV. The explosion occurred at a container port where flammable material was being stored in containers, says CCTV. Residents report hearing loud explosions and feeling strong tremors nearby. The Teda Hospital, located near the scene of explosion, has received more than 50 injured people, the country's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
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Story highlights

Angry families storm a news conference demanding to know about missing relatives

Authorities need to learn from 'extremely profound' lessons, Chinese President says

(CNN) —  

Crews searched for an unknown number of civilians and soldiers Saturday who are believed trapped by multiple explosions that killed at least 112 people this week in this eastern Chinese city.

As of Sunday morning, more than 50 people have been rescued in Tianjin, city government spokesman Gong Jiansheng said. They include a 19-year-old firefighter who lay on the ground for hours with burns and a cracked skull until he was found, officials said.

Relatives of some of the 95 people missing, mainly firefighters, stormed an official news conference demanding to know the whereabouts of their loved ones. Families wrote the names of missing people on posters lining a street outside a temporary shelter near the rescue site.

On Saturday, fires sent plumes of black smoke skyward near where explosions devastated a chemical warehouse in Tianjin on Wednesday.

But officials denied news reports that an evacuation order had been immediately issued for everyone within 1.8 miles (3 kilometers), with Gong calling the reports “false information.”

The Beijing News, citing the People’s Armed Police Force, had reported the evacuation order. CNN has reported that at least one disaster recovery shelter is located within the reported evacuation zone.

However, photographs made it appear that vehicles in a parking lot had caught fire rather than new explosions having taken place at the warehouse, as the Xinhua news agency had reported.

’Lessons paid for with blood’

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Saturday that the Tianjin blasts and other recent accidents exposed severe problems in workplace safety and urged authorities to heed “safe growth” and “people’s interest first” in efforts to avoid such accidents, Xinhua reported.

The president also “urged authorities to learn from the ‘extremely profound’ lessons paid for with blood” in the Tianjin explosions, Xinhua reported.

Xi is demanding improvements to workplace safety, the agency added.

The first blasts on Wednesday, one of which carried the equivalent of more than 20 tons of TNT, left more than 700 people injured and thousands homeless, officials said. A man around 40 years old was reported to have been rescued from the site on Saturday.