12 government officials and company executives have been detained in China over the huge warehouse explosion that killed over 145 people in Tianjin on 12 August.
The people detained include current and retired officials from the local government of Tianjin, and chairman, vice-chairman and three deputy general managers of Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics, the owning company of the warehouse where the explosion occurred.
There are conflicting reports as to the nature of their detainment. The state-run Xinhua news agency said they had been "criminally detained," a pre-arrest detention that comes before police level formal charges.
News of their detention comes amidst growing anger over poor safety standards in Chinese industry, which President Xi Jinping has vowed to improve.
Tianjin Explosion - In Pictures
Tianjin Explosion - In Pictures
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A man wearing a mask walks past overturned shipping containers after explosions hit the Binhai new district in Tianjin. Two massive explosions caused by flammable goods ripped through an industrial area in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin late on Wednesday, killing 17 people and injuring around 400, official Chinese media reported.
A screen grab from taken from state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) footage on August 12, 2015 shows a huge explosion in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin.
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Excavators work near the site of the explosions at the Binhai new district, Tianji
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A man who was injured following the massive explosions at the Binhai new district in Tianjin receives medical treatment at a hospital.
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View of the destruction after explosions in the port area of Tianjin, northern China,
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A emergency worker is lifted by a crane as smokes plumes from the explosion site in Binhai new district in Tianjin
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A damaged truck is seen on a highway near the site of the explosions at the Binhai new district in Tianjin
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Flames rise as a banner in the background reads "no illegal operations" at the site of a series of explosions in Tianjin, witnesses described a fireball from the blasts ripping through the night sky.
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Smoke rises from shipping containers after explosions at Binhai new district in Tianjin, China.
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Firefighters take a break after trying to put fire down at the explosion site in Binhai new district in Tianjin,
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A survivor talk on his mobile phone at the site of the explosions at the Binhai new district in Tianjin
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Firefighter's truck and other rescue vehicles are pictured as smoke rises among shipping containers after explosions at Binhai new district in Tianjin
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Damaged cars are seen near the site of explosions at the Binhai new district in Tianjin
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A paramilitary policeman wears a mask as he blocks the road leading to evacuated residential area and the explosion site in Binhai new district in Tianjin
On 26 August, the Communist Party sacked the head of China's work safety regulator, who was formerly the vice mayor of Tianjin. He was fired over corruption allegations, but no specific links were made to the Tianjin disaster.
A notice from the Chinese prosecutor's office said that the detained men "failed to take strong measures in response to the Ruihai company's illegal and unregulated actions, did not assiduously carry out their duties and issued business permits in violations of rules."
Besides the people who have already been detained, the prosecutor named officials from agencies like Tianjin's transport, land resources, work safety and customs bodies, and said they had been negligent in the supervision of the company, and bore some responsibility for the explosion.
Videos from the explosion went round the world on the night of the explosion, showing huge fireballs dwarfing tall towers and apartment blocks.
At least 145 people died in the explosion, and 28 more are still missing. 76 of those killed were firefighters.
Over 500 people are still in hospital with injuries they sustained in the disaster.
It is not yet known exactly what caused the explosions, but they took place at a warehouse that held hazardous materials, including thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate.
Clean-up work continues at the site of the blast, with many workers wearing special suits and respirators, in case they come across dangerous chemicals.Reuse content