As Zhu Han set about repairing the damage to his family home caused by the explosion at a fertiliser factory in east China he knew the worst job was still to come: telling his two children their mother was dead.
The youngsters, aged 10 and seven, were away at boarding school on Thursday afternoon when the blast at the Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical plant tore through the local neighbourhood, levelling an entire industrial estate and leaving a trail of destruction and death.
After school on Friday, the children were taken to the home of a relative for the weekend to allow their father time to clear up the mess at home and begin to come to terms with his loss.
Zhu and his wife were both working at the Chenjiagang industrial estate in Xiangshui county, an area of Yancheng, when the explosion happened. Zhu escaped with only cuts and bruises, but when he went in search of his wife he found her lifeless body in the warehouse where she worked.
Two days on, with his wife's body lying in a funeral home awaiting cremation, Zhu said he just wanted it all to be over.
"I hope the government can finish up (their investigation into the cause of the blast) as soon as possible and let us give her a decent funeral," he said. "I'll let the children know, and then they can see their mum for the last time."
I'll let the children know, and then they can see their mum for the last time.Wangshang villager Zhu Han
At least 64 people were killed and 640 injured in the explosion, the force of which was so powerful that in Zhu's village of Wangshang, about 1km away from the blast site, not a single property escaped undamaged. Windows were blown out, doors were ripped from their hinges and several houses even lost their roofs.
The blast also left the village without water and electricity, which meant people could only carry out repair work during the day " surviving on bottled water " and were forced to relocate to hotels or their relatives' homes at night.
As he fixed a plastic sheet to a hole in the wall of his home where there was once a window, Zhu said he and his wife had always been aware of the potential hazards of living so close to a chemical park, but never once imagined they would end up paying so dearly for it.
"We thought about the dangers, but it never occurred to me that such a bad thing would happen," the 30-something said, his eyes still red and swollen from the effect of the chemicals sprayed into the air by the blast.
While the industrial estate had once provided a living for him and his family, Zhu said the tragedy had made him realise that people and chemical plants did not mix.
"I'm concerned whether the residential neighbourhood and the industrial estate can coexist in the future," he said. "But which one should go?"
Zhu Xiaoying, who grew up in Wangshang and whose father still lives in the village, said that when he found out about 10 years ago that the industrial estate was being built nearby he was determined to fight it.
"I strongly opposed it, but I couldn't stop it, so I moved away," he said.
Zhu Xiaoying, also in his 30s, said he lived in another part of Yancheng but had returned to Wangshang to help his father repair the damage to the house he had lived in for the past 70 years.
"I bought bottled water for us to drink," he said. "We wouldn't dare drink the tap water, even after they've fixed it."
A manager from the local water company, who asked not to be named, said his team had been unable to turn the supply back on as investigators were still carrying out tests to make sure it was safe. But he insisted it had not been tainted.
"The water we drink here comes from the Zhongshan River, upstream," he said. "I can guarantee it is not contaminated and therefore safe to drink."
The Jiangsu Ecology and Environment Department said on Saturday that excessive levels of both dichloroethane and dichloromethane had been recorded in one of the three rivers that flow through the industrial estate, but that all of the waterways had been dammed to prevent any contamination spreading.
Also, while potentially harmful concentrations of nitrogen oxides had been found in the air on Thursday and Friday, they had returned to "acceptable levels" as of Saturday, it said.
The clean up operation in Wangshang was ongoing over the weekend, with a bulldozer and several dump trucks working to clear what remained of the former primary school. Its two ageing brick were levelled by the magnitude 2.2 earthquake created by the initial blast.
Another school in the nearby village of Liugang was also damaged but not demolished. Staff said they were unsure when either of the schools would reopen.
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