Taiwan gas explosion causes major casualties


The worst gas explosion in recent decades in Kaohsiung City of Taiwan has killed 25, including seven rescuers at the site, and injured another 271.

Roads collapsed and vehicles were blown up and then buried in debris. The first group of rescuers arriving site said a series of explosions took place in less than ten minutes.

“All I can saw was fire. And the sky was lit up. We heard a series of explosions within a few minutes but didn’t know which places were exploded. Seven miles of road was destroyed. An explosion blown up a ladder truck and then threw it onto the ground. You can imagine what happened to the driver in the truck. We had to run away but some didn’t manage to get out. We have lost seven colleagues,” said a rescuer surnamed Lin.

The rescuer has worked for more than 12 hours. Despite fatigue and pain of losing colleagues, he said he would continue his work.

Residents have been evacuated and an emergency center was established for handling disaster affairs.

The firefighting authorities said gas leaks were reported in the city’s Cianjhen District at around 20:46 Thursday. At about 23:55, explosion occurred for several times, affecting an area as large as three square kilometers.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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