More than 700 people were injured and dozens were reported missing in the explosions shortly before midnight on Wednesday that demolished a workers' dormitory, tossed shipping containers as if they were toy blocks and turned a fleet of 1,000 new cars into scorched metal husks.
The relatives said they had been left in the dark about the whereabouts of their relatives, who responded to the emergency.
By late afternoon, Xinhua reported 18 were missing, while 66 were among the hundreds of people being treated in nearby hospitals.
Fire safety has come under scrutiny and attracted increased media attention in China after a deadly blaze last month killed 19 in the far southern fringe of Beijing, which has led to citywide evictions seen by some people as unfairly targeting the vulnerable underclass.
Satellite image of Tianjin with an overlay of the blast radius.
It handles vast amounts of metal ore, coal, steel, cars and crude oil.
Jeff along with Jim stone and others stated that: This was NOT an accident, the fracture pattern around the crater proves a to be a shallow sub ground burst.
If it was a low altitude air burst, the ground coupling will be less showing a smaller Richter scale reading than usual.