World

Search ends for missing in China chemical warehouse explosions, final death toll set at 173

  • FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2015 file photo, firefighters in protective gear watch as smoke continues to billow out after an explosion at a warehouse in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality. Chinese authorities said on Saturday, Sept. 12, that they’ve ended the search for the remaining missing in a massive chemical warehouse explosion last month, setting the final death toll at 173 in China’s worst industrial disaster in years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2015 file photo, firefighters in protective gear watch as smoke continues to billow out after an explosion at a warehouse in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality. Chinese authorities said on Saturday, Sept. 12, that they’ve ended the search for the remaining missing in a massive chemical warehouse explosion last month, setting the final death toll at 173 in China’s worst industrial disaster in years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2015, file photo, smoke billows from the site of an explosion that reduced a parking lot filled with new cars to charred remains at a warehouse in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality. Chinese authorities said on Saturday, Sept. 12, that they’ve ended the search for the remaining missing in a massive chemical warehouse explosion last month, setting the final death toll at 173 in China’s worst industrial disaster in years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2015, file photo, smoke billows from the site of an explosion that reduced a parking lot filled with new cars to charred remains at a warehouse in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality. Chinese authorities said on Saturday, Sept. 12, that they’ve ended the search for the remaining missing in a massive chemical warehouse explosion last month, setting the final death toll at 173 in China’s worst industrial disaster in years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)  (The Associated Press)

Chinese authorities say they've ended the search for the remaining missing in a massive chemical warehouse explosion last month. The move sets the final death toll at 173 in China's worst industrial disaster in years.

The announcement on the Tianjin city government's microblog says there is no hope of finding eight persons still unaccounted for. It says the court is now starting the process of issuing death certificates.

The eight include five firefighters, underscoring the explosion's status as the worst ever disaster for Chinese first responders, more than 100 of whom were killed.

Investigations into the Aug. 12 blasts at the Ruihai International Logistics warehouses showed they located closer to homes than permitted, and stored much more hazardous material than authorized, including 700 tons of highly toxic sodium cyanide.