Chinese officials said Thursday that the level of cyanide detected in water close to the site of last week's huge chemical explosion in Tianjin is at 356 times the permitted limit, AFP reported.
The port city's environmental protection bureau said the deadly chemical was detected at 25 water monitoring positions within the restricted zone near the blast site on Wednesday.
"An excessive level of cyanide was detected in eight locations with the highest reaching 356 times" the allowed limit, the bureau said.
Of the 16 monitoring points located outside the alert area, cyanide was detected at six, below the normal limit.
Authorities had previously put estimates on the amount of cyanide at the site at thousands of tons, and earlier tests had shown the level at 28 times the permitted limit. Authorities have given no explanation as to why the levels have suddenly spiked, AFP reported.
The death count from the explosion, which happened last Wednesday, currently stands at 114.