Rescuers clear the damaged imported cars near the core blast area in Tianjin, north China, Aug. 20, 2015. (Photo: Xinhua/Yin Dongxun)
President Xi Jinping and other top Communist Party of China (CPC) leaders have issued a call for hard work and professionalism in response to the Tianjin explosions after hearing a report on rescue and follow-up work on Thursday.[Special coverage]
Xi presided over a meeting of the most senior members of the CPC Central Committee's Political Bureau convened to hear a report by a team set up by the State Council, China's cabinet, to investigate the blasts.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the leaders urged authorities to heighten their sense of responsibility for public safety. They also demanded thorough investigation into the cause of the blasts, which killed 114 people and have left hundreds more hospitalized.
Last Wednesday night, two explosions ripped through a warehouse in north China's Tianjin Municipality where hundreds of tonnes of toxic chemicals were stored, including roughly 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide.
The Thursday statement said saving lives and treating the injured should be prioritized, and that more efforts must be made to clean up the site, check for environmental damage and release information. Those responsible for the incident must be held accountable according to the law, it added.
"The incident has caused heavy casualties and property loss. It was a profound lesson paid with blood," the statement read.
The Armed Police and public security officers as well as fire-fighters have made great sacrifices in responding to the incident, the statement noted.
Rescuers should double-check the site and surrounding areas and must not abandon any of the missing people. Information about casualties and missing people must be accurate, it read.
Medical staff and resources should be mobilized to treat the injured, prevent deaths and keep disabilities from the incident to a minimum.
The statement stressed remaining hazardous chemicals must be cleared in an orderly way. Flammable and explosive chemicals should be carefully handled to avoid secondary accidents.
Authorities have been ordered to monitor air, soil and water quality near the site around the clock. Emergency response plans should be made to prevent major accidents that cause pollution.
It called for lawful and reasonable compensation and assistance for affected people and businesses.
Information about the accident should be released in a timely manner, the statement added.
Whoever is responsible for the accident will face punishment in accordance with the law, it said, adding that penalties will be meted out to those found guilty of dereliction of duty and breaking the law.
The statement warned of the grave situation in work safety, calling on local authorities to step up law enforcement and defuse potential risks.