Angry relatives of missing Tianjin firefighters storm a news conference, as death toll rises to 104

GlobalPost
A woman holds a name list of missing firefighters as family members talk to the media to seek help after being barred from a press conference authorities have at a hotel in Tianjin on Aug. 15, 2015. 
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Relatives of firefighters who have gone missing at the Tianjin blast site stormed a news conference in the Chinese port city on Saturday, demanding more information from the government.

China, which has a poor track record when it comes to industrial safety, has released very little information about the massive blast in Tianjin, which occurred on Wednesday and has killed 104 people so far, according to Xinhua.

"Nobody has told us anything, we're in the dark, there is no news at all," one middle-aged woman screamed, as she was dragged away by security personnel, according to AFP.

An AP reporter told the Guardian that media were locked inside the conference room as visibly upset relatives of the missing firefighters tried to force entry into the room. They were reportedly yelling for more information about their lost loved ones. 

Newser reported the concerns of two of the firefighters' mothers. Liu Huan, whose firefighter son Liu Chuntao has been missing since Wednesday, said she has heard nothing from authorities. 

"Our son is a firefighter, and there was a team of firefighters who lost contact. We couldn't contact him," Liu Huan said.

Liu Longwang said she had not heard a word on her son Liu Ziqiao, also a firefighter. "We are extremely worried," she said. "He's just turned 18." 

AP reports 21 firefighters among the 104 dead and an unknown number of firefighters remain missing — making the disaster the deadliest for Chinese firefighters in more than six decades, according to Newser. A total of 720 people have been reported injured in Tianjin.

Also on Saturday, Chinese authorities confirmed the presence of deadly sodium cyanide — exposure to which can be fatal — at the blast site. As a result, all residents within a 3 kilometer radius have been ordered to evacuate.

An additional seven small blasts were heard Saturday, after a fire that had been festering since Wednesday flared up near an area where hazardous goods were being stored.