Chinese Premier Li Keqiang orders an overhaul of work safety after Tianjin blasts

GlobalPost
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks during a press conference at the Great Hall of the People on March 15, 2015 in Beijing, China. 
Lintao Zhang

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has ordered an overhaul of work safety, following the deaths of 112 people in successive blasts at the port city of Tianjin, according to Xinhua news agency

Li spoke on Sunday while visiting a branch of the Tianjin fire department, where honored those who have lost their lives so far in the tragedy. At least 21 of the 112 people killed in the disaster were firefighters.

Eighty-five firefighters and 10 other people remain missing at the disaster site, where the presence of sodium cyanide was confirmed. 

"They are all heroes and deserve the respect of the whole society," Li said, according to Xinhua

The work safety reforms will focus on dangerous chemicals and flammable materials, Li said. By Sunday, authorities confirmed there had been "several hundred" tons of the toxic chemical sodium cyanide on site at the time of the blasts, according to AP.

Workers in Tianjin are attempting to clear the area of dangerous chemicals before any rain comes, which could possibly make efforts to contain the disaster even harder.

Li also reportedly ordered the "swift release" of information in a "timely manner," according to Xinhua — an announcement that follows the public airing of grievances by several family members of missing firefighters.

On Saturday, angry relatives stormed a news conference, demanding more information and expressing fury over being kept in the dark.