Massive Gas Blast in Taiwan, kills 25
A series of gas explosions shook the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung and has claimed 25 lives and injured 267.
The blasts took place in the city’s Cianjhen district, stalling the daily routine of city life. Although the exact cause of the explosion is yet to be verified but officials doubt ruptured pipelines might be the reason behind it.
Taiwan’s premiere reported a total of five blasts happened in the late Thursday night. Witnesses report huge fireballs soaring in the air overturning vehicles and damaging public and private properties. Images taken in the scene showed bodies lying dead covered in debris and streets split wide open in two.
“Cars and motorcycles were scattered all over the road and doctors were there at the scene monitoring the bodies”, says Chen Guanyuan, an eye witness who was at the scene shortly.
The National Fire Agency said they had received several calls on Thursday night about the gas leak which was followed by a series of explosions affecting an area of two to three sq. km.
“The explosion range was so massive that it created a long range hole like a huge cave”, Mr. Chen said.
The city has lot of petrochemical companies’ pipelines running along the sewage system in the district.
“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.
The city people have been evacuated to nearby schools and by Friday morning, most fires are reported to have been extinguished by the firefighters. Search is on to look if there are any people trapped under the rubble.
The local government has set up an emergency response centre in order to aid the panic stricken citizens.
Images Courtesy: AFP/Getty Images & Reuters.