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Cyanide Levels In Tianjin Water At 356 Times The Safe Limit After Blast

Officials said the chemical was detected at 25 water monitoring points within the restricted area around the blast site.

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Chinese officials said Thursday that the level of cyanide detected in water close to the site of last week's huge chemical explosion in Tianjin is at 356 times the permitted limit, AFP reported.

China Stringer Network / Reuters

A pool of unknown liquid is seen near the site of the Tianjin blast, Aug. 15.

The port city's environmental protection bureau said the deadly chemical was detected at 25 water monitoring positions within the restricted zone near the blast site on Wednesday.

"An excessive level of cyanide was detected in eight locations with the highest reaching 356 times" the allowed limit, the bureau said.

Of the 16 monitoring points located outside the alert area, cyanide was detected at six, below the normal limit.

Authorities had previously put estimates on the amount of cyanide at the site at thousands of tons, and earlier tests had shown the level at 28 times the permitted limit. Authorities have given no explanation as to why the levels have suddenly spiked, AFP reported.

The death count from the explosion, which happened last Wednesday, currently stands at 114.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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