20 killed, 270 in­jured in Tai­wan ex­plo­sions

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By XIN­HUA

Death toll from the gas leak ex­plo­sions that hit Kaoh­si­ung city of China’s Tai­wan on Thurs­day has climbed to 20, lat­est data from the is­land’s fire­fight­ing au­thor­ity showed.

Mean­while, 270 oth­ers were in­jured, the data showed. As of 5:00 am Fri­day lo­cal time, fires still con­tin­ued to burn on roads in­clud­ing Kaisyuan Road, ac­cord­ing to an up­date from lo­cal fire agency.

Ear­lier, a state­ment by the city govern­ment said the dead in­cluded sev­eral fire fight­ers.

Kaoh­si­ung Mayor Chen Chu said that the in­ci­dent was the worst of its kind in the re­cent decade.

The num­bers of ca­su­al­ties may keep in­creas­ing as the ex­plo­sion caused road sur­face to col­lapse and peo­ple may fell into the hol­lows.

The is­land’s fire-fight­ing au­thor­ity said gas leaks were re­ported in the city’s Cian­jhen district at around 8:46 p.m. Thurs­day, lead­ing to mul­ti­ple ex­plo­sions that af­fected an area as large as three square kilo­me­ters.

Jiang Yi-huah, the is­land’s ex­ec­u­tive chief, is co­or­di­nat­ing the res­cue op­er­a­tions at an emer­gency re­sponse cen­ter that was put into op­er­a­tion at 0:40 a. Fri­day.

The cause of the gas leak is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Tai­wan leader Ma Ying-jeou has urged rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties to help the res­cue, ac­cord­ing to his of­fice spokes­woman MaWeikuo.

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