Chiness president Xi Jinping promised a “thorough investigation” after huge explosions in the world’s 10th largest port- Tianjin - killing at least 50 people and disrupting operations.
The Chinese government faces pressure to reveal the mystery chemical or explosives. The cause for the blasts is being investigated by China while top foreign and local companies are assessing the damages caused to them.
A team of 217 nuclear and biochemical materials specialists from the Chinese military began work at the site on Thursday, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Investigators searched for clues on Friday to identify what caused two huge explosions ripped through chemicals warehouses.
The warehouse was designed to store dangerous and toxic chemicals, according to an assessment by environmental inspectors published in 2014. It was storing mainly ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate and calcium carbide at the time of the blasts, according to the police.
The blasts originated at shipping containers owned by a logistics company authorised to handle hazardous material and struck a mostly non-residential industrial area.
"Forces from all sides are searching for the (remaining) missing firefighters," Tianjin Fire Department head Zhou Tian said.
At a press briefing in Tianjin today, officials said the chemical involved was yet to be identified. Drains and sewers leading from the impacted area to the nearby Tianjin port have been closed to stop the potential pollution spreading to the waterways.
Meanwile, ships carrying oil and "hazardous products" were barred from the port Thursday, said the Tianjin Maritime Safety Administration.
The blasts in the city of Tianjin on Wednesday night killed at least 50 people, including a dozen fire fighters, state media said. About 700 people were injured, 71 seriously.
The port city of more than 15 million people had become a gateway to northern China for shipments of metal ore, coal, automobiles and crude oil.