While rumors about mass looting in shopping malls may not be true, one suspect has been apprehended for breaking into an apartment building heavily damaged by the Tianjin blasts and attempting to make off with thousands of yuan worth of goods.
Shanghai Daily reports that the 28-year-old man, surnamed Chen, was caught by patrolling officers on Sunday morning as he attempted to sneak out of the Vanke Harbor City residential complex, which was badly hit by the series of explosions, with a pile of stolen items.
He told police that he’d snuck in on August 13, and within three nights, nabbed 12,000 yuan in cash along with jewelry, cameras and other electronic devices.
Police stopped him as he tried leaving on Sunday and found his stash of looted goods in the complex’s green area, the report said.
The official death toll from the blasts that ripped through a warehouse storing hazardous goods last Wednesday has climbed to 114, with 70 still missing. Among the deceased are 39 firefighters and five policemen, Xinhua reports.
Experts have stated that the location of the 46,000-square-meter Ruihui International Logistics warehouse had breached China’s national safety standards, as a warehouse of that size should be at least 1,000 meters away from public buildings and arterial roads. The facility, which stored hazardous chemicals including sodium cyanide and potassium nitrate, was only 500 meters away from a railway line and 600 meters away from apartment buildings, CCTV News reports.
A number of residents whose homes were destroyed in the blasts have been protesting in recent days, demanding compensation from the government.