Residents of southern Kaoshiung city are vowing to block a plan to build a new underground pipeline after a series of explosions Thursday killed 28 people in one of Taiwan’s deadliest accidents, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.
The explosions have been blamed on a faulty pipeline and decades of negligence by pipe operators.
Reconstruction of the blast site and nearby areas are expected to begin this week but residents of Taiwan’s second biggest city said they will not again live under constant threat from underground gas pipes, the report said.
They are vowing to stop any attempt to resume the pipeline. They want the government to divert any new pipeline from residential and commercial areas, the report said.
Kaohsiung mayor Chen Chu pledged to put residents’ lives first and said there will be no new pipeline unless safety can be guaranteed.
Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun was quoted as saying consent from the city government is required for the pipeline project.
Initial investigations showed a gas leak from a pipeline operated by LCY Chemical Corp. caused the explosions, the report said.
The company’s chairman apologized at a press conference on Sunday and said it will take responsibility.
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