Death toll from Tianjin, China, explosions over 100 - CNN.com
What caused the blasts?
Fire officials said hazardous chemicals stored at the warehouse were ignited by fire. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
Executives from Rui Hai International Logistics Co., the company that owned the warehouse, have been taken into custody, state media reported Thursday.
Lei Jinde, an official from the Chinese Public Security Ministry's firefighting bureau, told thepaper.cn, a Shanghai-based newspaper, in a telephone interview that the first team of firefighters used water in an attempt to contain the fire. It was necessary to cool the blaze, he said, according to a CNN translation.
But water isn't the best fire suppressant for some chemicals.
Calcium carbide reacts with water to form acetylene, which can catch fire.
"We knew there was calcium carbide inside, but no one had knowledge if it was exploding or on fire," Lei said. "It's not that the firefighters were stupid that they would still use water after knowing there was calcium carbide. I didn't mean that. We absolutely can't say it was wrong to use water."
Authorities in Tianjin appeared to have been concerned recently about the handling of hazardous materials at the port.
A notice posted by the Tianjin Administration of Work Safety on its website last week said city officials held a meeting with executives of more than 20 companies that handle dangerous chemicals at the port.
How many lives did the explosions claim?
Of those confirmed dead, 21 were firefighters. Many people are still missing, including dozens of employees of the company that owned the warehouse, according to the Xinhua news agency.
One firefighter was rescued from the rubble Friday, Xinhua reported.
One of killed firefighters was recovered at the rescue scene, and about a dozen other firefighters flanked and stood over the covered body in a solemn ceremony, according to CCTV.
The comrades took off their helmets and bowed four times in a moment of reverence at the rubble-strewn site, according to footage by China Central Television, the nation's largest national broadcasting network.
Some of the firefighters carried the body away on a stretcher, and the remainder saluted as the body passed by, the network footage showed.