Taiwan gas blasts in Kaohsiung kill at least 25

Taiwan gas blasts in Kaohsiung kill at least 25

A series of gas explosions in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung has killed 25 people and injured 267 others, officials say.

The blasts rocked the city’s Cianjhen district, scattering cars and blowing deep trenches in roads.

The exact cause of the gas leaks is not clear, but reports say the blasts were caused by ruptured pipelines.

Images of the scene showed major fires, upturned vehicles, bodies covered in debris and streets split in two.

The explosions happened late on Thursday night, with witnesses reporting huge fireballs soaring into the air. Taiwan’s premier said there were at least five blasts.

“The local fire department received calls of gas leaks late Thursday and then there was a series of blasts around midnight affecting an area of two to three sq km [one sq mile],” the National Fire Agency said in a statement.

“I saw lots of cars and motorcycles with engines all over on the road, and doctors checking if bodies were dead or alive,” eyewitness Chen Guan-yuan, who was at the scene shortly after the blast, told the BBC.

“Because the explosion range is so far so it’s really difficult to handle this situation immediately,” Mr Chen said, adding that the blasts “caused a long-range hole, like a huge cave”.

The explosions split roads in two and threw vehicles into the air

The blasts ripped through the southern city of Kaohsiung late on Thursday
Four firefighters who were investigating reports of a gas leak were said to be among the dead.

People in the area were evacuated to schools as teams battled the blazes. By Friday morning most fires were reported to have been extinguished.

Firefighters were still trying to see if people were trapped under the rubble, the BBC’s Cindy Sui in Taipei reported.

The exact cause of the blasts had not yet been identified but several petrochemical companies had pipelines running along the sewage system in the district, our correspondent added.

“The cause of the gas leak is still not clear at this moment. We suspect the leaked gas could be propylene,” said Economic Affairs Minister Chang Chia-chu.

20140801-144452.jpg

Related Post

Egyptian student killed ahead of uprising anniversary
views 57
An Egyptian student was killed during clashes between anti-government protesters and residents in the coastal city of Alexandria, as demonstrations ga...
Huge fireball leaves 38 people dead after lorry crashes into bus on motorwa...
views 45
ALMOST 40 people have died in a fireball after a lorry carrying flammable liquid collided with a bus. Five other vehicles were involved in the acciden...
Floods hit World Cup host city
views 54
Floods have driven almost 13,000 people from their homes in the southern Brazilian state of Parana, officials said. The state's civil defence departm...
Obama grants $1 billion to Pakistan
views 31
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has signed a massive annual defence policy bill which grants $1 billion to Pakistan for the expenses made by its ar...
Greece: 21 dead after two migrant boats sink off Greek islands
views 67
At least 21 people have died after two separate boats smuggling migrants off two Greek islands capsized overnight. The Greek coast guard says dozens h...

SHARE WHAT YOU THINK