World

State media: China firm used connections to build hazmat storage, which exploded, killing 114

  • Residents demanding compensation for damages to their homes after an explosion at the Tianjin port protest outside a hotel where media press conferences are held in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The blasts originated at a warehouse for hazardous material, where 700 tons of sodium cyanide — a toxic chemical that can form combustible substances on contact with water — was being stored in amounts that violated safety rules. (AP Photo/Paul Traynor)

    Residents demanding compensation for damages to their homes after an explosion at the Tianjin port protest outside a hotel where media press conferences are held in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The blasts originated at a warehouse for hazardous material, where 700 tons of sodium cyanide — a toxic chemical that can form combustible substances on contact with water — was being stored in amounts that violated safety rules. (AP Photo/Paul Traynor)  (The Associated Press)

  • Residents demanding compensation for damages to their homes after an explosion at the Tianjin port protest outside a hotel where media press conferences are held in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The blasts originated at a warehouse for hazardous material, where 700 tons of sodium cyanide — a toxic chemical that can form combustible substances on contact with water — was being stored in amounts that violated safety rules. (AP Photo/Paul Traynor)

    Residents demanding compensation for damages to their homes after an explosion at the Tianjin port protest outside a hotel where media press conferences are held in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The blasts originated at a warehouse for hazardous material, where 700 tons of sodium cyanide — a toxic chemical that can form combustible substances on contact with water — was being stored in amounts that violated safety rules. (AP Photo/Paul Traynor)  (The Associated Press)

  • Residents demanding compensation for damages to their homes after an explosion at the Tianjin port protest outside a hotel where media press conferences are held in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The blasts originated at a warehouse for hazardous material, where 700 tons of sodium cyanide — a toxic chemical that can form combustible substances on contact with water — was being stored in amounts that violated safety rules. (AP Photo/Paul Traynor)

    Residents demanding compensation for damages to their homes after an explosion at the Tianjin port protest outside a hotel where media press conferences are held in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The blasts originated at a warehouse for hazardous material, where 700 tons of sodium cyanide — a toxic chemical that can form combustible substances on contact with water — was being stored in amounts that violated safety rules. (AP Photo/Paul Traynor)  (The Associated Press)

Chinese state media is reporting that the son of a former police chief is one of two silent owners of the warehouse in Tianjin where explosions killed at least 114 people.

The report by the official Xinhua News Agency says he used his connections to help obtain licenses despite the hazmat facility violating safety rules.

Xinhua says the other owner is a former executive at a state-owned chemical company who also used his connections to smooth the way for approval for the facility.

The report underlines the common perception that well-connected private Chinese companies use personal relationships in the government to override rules.

It shed light on the murky ownership at Ruihai, which had fueled rampant rumors since the Aug. 12 blasts, which also left 65 missing and 674 hospitalized.