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Premier Li pays respects to firefighters lost in Tianjin blasts

Updated: Aug 17,2015 7:47 AM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang visits the site of Tianjin blasts in north China’s Tianjin, Aug 16, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

TIANJIN — Bowing to the photos of the deceased firefighters, Premier Li Keqiang on Aug 16 paid respects to those young men who lost their lives in two massive warehouse blasts in north China’s port city of Tianjin that have killed 112.

“They are all heroes and deserve the respect of the whole society,” said Li, while visiting a brigade of Tianjin fire department.

At least 21 firefighters have been killed after two huge explosions tore through a warehouse in Tianjin’s Binhai New Area late at night on Aug 12, and 85 other firefighters remain unaccounted for.

Premier Li Keqiang makes an inspection visit on Aug 16 to the scene of last week’s explosions in Tianjin Port.[Photo/China News Service]

Premier Li said all the dead — whether official firefighters or contract counterparts — will enjoy the same posthumous honor and their families will be given the same compensation.

The Premier also visited the firefighters and soldiers who are still racing against the clock to search for the missing people at the blast site, praising their valor and contributions.

“When people’s lives are at risk, you go to the rescue without fear or hesitation and make sacrifices,” Li said. “The Party and the government thank you.”

He asked them to ensure their own safety in rescue work.

Li also led officials to stand in silent tribute to all the dead in the disaster before a meeting of the rescue headquarters.

The Premier arrived in Tianjin on the afternoon of Aug 16.

His first stop was the quarantined area, where he oversaw rescue, search and cleaning operations. He urged continued search for the missing people and thorough elimination of dangerous remains of the exploded chemicals.

Premier Li Keqiang (3rd L) visits the site of Tianjin blasts in north China’s Tianjin, Aug 16, 2015. He will visit fire fighters, rescuers and those injured in the calamity. He will also direct further rescue operations and treatment of the injured, as well as handling of the aftermath and production safety. [Photo/Xinhua]

Li told the environment staff to keep monitoring the environment around the clock and release accurate, authoritative environment information as the public are highly concerned about the air, water and soil quality around the blast site.

Li visited the temporary relocation site and demanded considerate services for the displaced citizens.

At hospitals, he promised the wounded best medical resources. He also asked the medical staff to do their best to minimize the fatality and disability.

At the meeting on further rescue plan, Li ordered swift release of information concerning the explosions in order to let the public know the real picture in timely manner. No secondary accidents are allowed.

“The accident has incurred heavy casualties and taught us an extremely painful lesson,” the Premier said at the meeting.

The investigation team set up by the State Council, or China’s cabinet, must find out the cause thoroughly and punish those with dereliction of duty severely, he said.

Li ordered a nationwide overhaul of work safety focusing on dangerous chemicals and inflammable materials.

Premier Li Keqiang (4th L) visits residents affected by the massive warehouse blasts at a temporary shelter in Tianjin, north China, Aug 16, 2015. Li visited fire fighters, rescuers and those injured in the calamity. Li also directed further rescue operations and treatment of the injured, as well as handling of the aftermath and production safety. [Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang (2nd R) visit fire fighters working at the explosion site in Tianjin, north China, Aug. 16, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang (front) inspects the environment monitoring work near the massive warehouse blasts site in Tianjin, north China, Aug 16, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang (2nd L) visits residents injured in the massive warehouse blasts at a temporary relocation site in Tianjin, north China, Aug. 16, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang (front) pays respects to firefighters who lost their lives in the massive warehouse blasts in Tianjin, north China, Aug 16, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang (3rd L) visits a firefighter injured in the massive warehouse blasts at a hospital in Tianjin, north China, Aug 16, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

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