Search for missing in China warehouse explosion ends

The search for eight people still unaccounted for after the Tianjin explosion has been called off. Credit: Reuters

Chinese authorities have ended the search for eight missing people in the chemical warehouse explosion in Tianjin 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 the people still unaccounted for and that 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 August 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.