Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have urged all-out efforts to save the injured and minimize casualties in the Tianjin blast. [Special coverage]
In an instruction, President Xi ordered local authorities in Tianjin to spare no effort to treat the injured, search for the missing and contain the fire. Xi and Li also commanded a work group led by Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun to direct rescue operation and emergency response.
The blast, which occurred at a warehouse in the north China port city on Wednesday night, has killed 17 people and injured more than 400 as of Thursday morning, according to rescuers.
In the instruction, Xi noted that the cause of the fire must be found out, family members of the victims should be taken good care of while public order should be maintained. Xi added search and rescue missions must be carried out in an appropriate way to guarantee the safety of the rescuers.
Xi also urged governments at all levels to draw a lesson from the accident, insist on the paramount interests of the people, carry out safety checks, enhance their management of dangerous chemicals, ensure production safety and protect the people's lives and property.
Premier Li urged authorities to intensify search and rescue. He required that the injured should be treated properly to minimize death from injuries.
Li also vowed thorough investigation in the accident and ensure open and transparent information disclosure to the public.