A series of gas explosions in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung late Thursday has left 22 people, including four firefighters, dead and injured about 270, Apple Daily (Taiwan) reported Friday.
The explosions were caused by gas leaks in the sewage system in Kaohsiung’s Cianjhen and Lingya districts, it said. Several streets have been closed following the blasts and residents evacuated. The fires have now been brought under control.
Following the incident, Taiwan government has asked operators to shut down gas pipelines in the area, the report said.
The explosions were so strong that they caused some cars to overturn and some roads to collapse. The gas leaks are suspected to have come from ruptured pipelines.
Soldiers and firefighters are still trying to confirm if there is anyone trapped under the rubble at the blast sites. Taiwan’s Interior Minister is said to have confirmed that the chief secretary of Kaohsiung’s fire bureau is among those missing.
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