Amid increasing frustration among its citizens over the recent Tianjin blasts, China has moved further to curtail the criticism of its handling of the situation.
Xinhua reported that at least 50 websites and 360 social media accounts have been "punished" for spreading rumours related to the blasts. The Chinese cybersecurity authorities have deleted several posts, suspended numerous social media accounts and websites since the Tianjin blasts.
According to the New York Times, some of those punished include "star bloggers" who have been accused of causing "panic by comparing the blast to the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki".
China, which has a repressive policy that ensures tight monitoring on the flow of news, failed to contain the spread of information on social media accounts.
In the aftermath of the deadly blasts that claimed over 100 lives and left nearly 700 injured, Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo and WeChat played a key role in drawing the attention of the world.
Chinese social media users were severe in criticising the government after it was found that the company, Rui Hai International Logistics, which owned the warehouse where the blasts occurred, grossly violated safety rules by handling dangerous materials close to residential buildings and worker dormitories.
The environmental impact in the aftermath of the blasts is still worrisome. Even though a special team of 217 chemical experts was deployed to contain the 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide found at the accident site, much harm has already been done.
Investigators have now confirmed that sodium cyanide from the warehouse has already seeped into drainage pipes beneath the port facilities.
When sodium cyanide comes in contact with water, it releases deadly hydrogen cyanide, which now also has been detected "in the air slightly above safety levels at two locations" around Tianjin, The Herald Sun reported.