A deadly overnight gas explosion in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, killed at least 25 and injured 257 people, the Wall Street Journal quoted government officials as stating.
Officials said four police and firefighters were included in the death toll. A photojournalist from a Hong Kong newspaper was also injured while reporting the matter.
Streets were caved in over a long distance, and stores’ front windows were broken. Rescuers were searching through rubble to find survivors.
The city’s government responded quickly as it set up its own emergency center with over 1,600 military personnel to help the rescue.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu asked President Ma Ying-jeou to check the city’s petrochemical pipeline to prevent future explosions, but Kaohsiung City Spokesman Ting Yun-Kung said the chance of another blast is “extremely slim at the moment because all gas supply has been turned off.”
According to Bloomberg, 23,600 households were without gas, 7,536 homes were without power and 8,000 houses were without water as of 9:30 a.m. because of the incident.
It is unclear now what caused the explosion, but investigators believed gas might have leaked from an underground pipeline that transports propene, a highly flammable petrochemical.
Photo Credit: Zuma Press
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