China Blast Zone Evacuated Over Chemical Contamination Fears

TIANJIN, China (AP) - Chinese authorities have ordered the evacuation of a 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) zone around the northern port city of Tianjin over chemical contamination fears from blasts and fires that continue to rage.

Police and military staff are deployed at checkpoints leading to the explosion site, and helicopters are hovering above.

The death toll from Wednesday's inferno and blasts that began at a warehouse storing hazardous materials has reached 85, including 21 firefighters.

Burning flames are still visible on Saturday, and explosions have been reported by witnesses and state media.

Authorities are yet to determine the full list of chemicals on site. State media say there are large amounts of sodium cyanides, which is combustible upon contact with water.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.