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

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.