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China explosion: 9 firefighters among 44 dead in Tianjin port blast

The latest on the explosions in China's port city of Tianjin (all times local).

By: AP | Tianjin | Updated: August 13, 2015 11:23:37 am
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, smoke rise from the site of explosions from a nearby building in the Binhai New Area in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Huge explosions in the warehouse district sent up massive fireballs that turned the night sky into day in the Chinese port city of Tianjin, officials and witnesses said Thursday. (Yue Yuewei/Xinhua via AP) In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, smoke rise from the site of explosions from a nearby building in the Binhai New Area in northeastern China’s Tianjin municipality, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Huge explosions in the warehouse district sent up massive fireballs that turned the night sky into day in the Chinese port city of Tianjin, officials and witnesses said Thursday. (Yue Yuewei/Xinhua via AP)

The latest on the explosions in China’s port city of Tianjin (all times local):

1:35 p.m.

The official Xinhua News agency says the death toll has risen to 44, 12 of them firefighters.

12:45 p.m.

The official Xinhua News agency says 32 people remain in critical condition and 283 others have been hospitalized following the explosions late Wednesday. In all, more than 400 people have been injured. The Beijing News newspaper says on its website that nine firefighters are among the 44 dead.

11 a.m.

As is customary during disasters, Chinese authorities are trying to keep a tight control over information. Police are keeping journalists and bystanders away with a cordon as many as a few kilometers (miles) from the site. On China’s popular microblogging platform of Weibo, some users complain that their posts about the blasts have been deleted, and the number of searchable posts on the disaster fluctuated, in a sign that authorities are manipulating or placing limits on the number of posts.

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READ: 17 killed in huge blast at Tianjin port, over 300 injured

Photos taken by bystanders and circulating on microblogs show a gigantic fireball high in the sky, with a mushroom-cloud. Other photos on state media outlets showed a sea of fire that painted the night sky bright orange, with tall plumes of smoke.

Chinese police help a man to safety near the site of an explosion in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Chinese state media reported huge explosions at the Tianjin port late Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) Chinese police help a man to safety near the site of an explosion in northeastern China’s Tianjin municipality, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Chinese state media reported huge explosions at the Tianjin port late Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

6 a.m.

There were scenes of devastation as dawn broke over the northeastern Chinese city of Tianjin after huge explosions rocked the port city later Wednesday night. Windows were blown out of high rise apartments and office buildings were destroyed. A fireball appears to have swept through a parking lot of 1,000 new Renault cars, with the paint burned off and the cars left charred.

5 a.m.

Government officials and state media say that the massive explosions at a warehouse for dangerous materials in the northeastern Chinese port of Tianjin killed at least 17 people and injured hundreds, including 32 in serious condition. The explosions late Wednesday knocked doors off buildings in the area and shattered windows up to several kilometers (miles) away.

2:45 a.m.

Police in the Chinese port city of Tianjin say at least seven people have been killed in explosions sparked at a warehouse for dangerous materials.

The state-run Beijing News said on its website that that between 300 and 400 people had been admitted to hospitals in the city, east of Beijing. It says the explosions shattered windows and knocked off doors of buildings in the area.

Police in Tianjin said an initial blast took place late Wednesday night in shipping containers at a warehouse for hazardous materials owned by a logistics company.

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