Sunday
December 21, 2014
Friday, August 1, 2014

At least 25 killed, more than 260 injured in Taiwan gas blast

A rescue worker and his dog search through the site after gas explosions in the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung.

A series of explosions caused by a gas leak killed 25 people and injured 267 in Taiwan's second city today, sending flames shooting 15 storeys into the air, setting ablaze entire blocks and reducing small shops to rubble.

Rescue authorities said police and soldiers had been drafted in to help firefighters after the midnight explosion and blaze gutted a district in the port city of Kaohsiung packed with shops and apartment buildings.

Four firefighters were among the dead. Media reports suggested the death toll was likely to rise sharply.

President Ma Ying-jeou pledged tough measures to prevent any recurrence of the incident.

"We will make further arrangements and inspections to avoid this kind of disaster from occurring again," Ma said in comments shown on television after speaking via a video link with Kaohsiung's mayor.

The blast sent flames racing through the district and smoke billowing high into the air. Flames shot up from sewers and gutters and water from burst mains gushed through the streets.

Residents said the blast shook buildings as if there had been an earthquake, toppling small shops and overturning cars.

Rescuers formed a chain to pull dozens of injured from a vast crater in the street and picked their way through piles of rubble as they ferried the injured away on stretchers.

Those overcome by smoke were resuscitated in the street.

"We've already taken some seriously injured into the emergency room," a doctor told a local television station, without giving his name.

Two of these were in surgery with a fractured hip and internal bleeding in the head, respectively, he added, while four more were receiving emergency treatment.

By morning, firefighters had regained control of the district and were moving in protective white gear through streets covered in upturned asphalt and smashed vehicles.

The National Fire Agency said firefighters were investigating reports of gas leaks, as the cause of the explosions remains unclear.

Economic minister Chang Chia-juch told reporters initial assessments suggested the blast was caused by a leak of propylene, a material used in the production of plastics and fabrics.

Taiwan's two foremost petrochemical companies said their operations were unaffected by the blast.

An official from Formosa Petrochemical said the company's facilities were not located near the disaster site and its factories were functioning normally. State-owned CPC Corp. also said it was operating normally.

  • CommentComment
  • Increase font size Decrease font sizeSize
  • Email article
    email
  • Print
    Print
  • Share
    1. Vote
    2. Not interesting Little interesting Interesting Very interesting Indispensable
Tags:  Taiwan  gas  blast  





22
  • Comment
  • Increase font size Decrease font size
  • mail
  • Print

COMMENTS >

Comment




Grupo ámbito    ámbito financiero    ambito.com    Docsalud     Premium        El Ciudadano    El Tribuno    Management

Director: Orlando Mario Vignatti - Edition No. 4347 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5177376 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA