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China explosions: Doubts raised over chemical licences

44The Chinese firm whose warehouse in Tianjin exploded last week killing at least 114 people did not have a licence to handle hazardous chemicals until two months ago, Xinhua news agency says.
It also said that for eight months before June, Tianjin International Ruihai Logistics handled hazardous chemicals without the right documents.
Nearly 700 people were injured in Wednesday’s devastating blasts.
Ceremonies in the port city honoured the dead on Tuesday.
Cargo ships blared their horns and people gathered in silence to mark the day.
Residents have been staging protests demanding compensation for property damage from the government.
Thousands of people had to evacuate their homes after toxic chemicals were detected in the air following the blasts at the world’s 10th-busiest port.
Some 17,000 homes were damaged by the explosions and their shockwaves.
The warehouse was storing hundreds of tonnes of sodium cyanide, far more than legally allowed, it has emerged.
It was was also within 500m (1,640ft) of homes, in violation of laws that require a 1km minimum distance.
On Tuesday, Xinhua quoted an unidentified executive from the company as saying: “The company has handled hazardous chemicals during a period without a licence.”
The agency said documents showed the company was approved to handle hazardous chemicals between April and October last year.