Tianjin firefighter rescued from rubble after 32hrs trapped
The man was rescued at 7:05am Friday (23:05 GMT Thursday), Chinese media said, citing Tianjin public security department. He was identified as Zhou Ti from the Binhai New Area brigade of Tianjin's fire department. State outlets reported that he apparently spent at least 32 hours in the rubble.
The firefighter was then taken to the local hospital and treated for face, chest and feet injuries. He is now conscious and shows vital signs, CCTV state news outlet said.
Xinhua news said that so far he is the first and only firefighter successfully rescued from the blast site.
According to the Ministry of Public Security, 18 firefighters are still missing.
“Forces from all sides are searching for the missing firefighters," said Tianjin's fire chief Zhou Tian. “When the blasts occurred, several firefighters were working to put out the fire as backup forces just arrived. They were caught off guard, so the casualties are grave."
He added that more than 1,020 firefighters and 140 fire engines are involved to battle the huge blaze.
At least 56 people have been killed and over 700 injured after two explosions took place in the northeastern Chinese city of Tianjin late Wednesday. The blasts were caused by a shipment of explosives in a key industrial zone in Binhai New Area.
The blast wave shattered windows in nearby offices and apartment blocks, and the impact was felt up to 10km away. The National Earthquake Bureau said that first of the explosions was equivalent to 3 tons of TNT, and the second equivalent to 21 tons.
On Thursday chemical warfare units deployed to the site of explosions detected toxic fumes in dangerous concentrations up to half a kilometer from the blasts. Sulfur oxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, all products of combustion, were found in the air.