20 killed, 270 injured in Taiwan explosions
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.