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Explosion by 'sewage gas' leak leaves 22 dead, hundreds injured in Taiwan
Friday August 1, 2014 8:39 AM, Agencies

At least 22 people, including fire fighters, were killed and 270 injured in sewage gas leak explosions that hit Taiwan's Kaohsiung city Thursday.

Taiwan Gas leak
[The exact cause of the gas leaks is not clear, but reports say the blasts were caused by ruptured pipelines. (AFP Photo)]

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

The island's fire-fighting authority said gas leaks were reported in the city's Cianjhen district at around 9.00 p.m. Thursday, leading to multiple explosions that affected an area as large as three square kilometres.

Jiang Yi-huah, the island's executive chief, is coordinating the rescue operations at an emergency response center that was put into operation early Friday.

The island's military force has deployed more than 300 soldiers to the sites to carry out rescue work.

The exact cause of the gas leaks is not clear, but reports say the blasts were caused by ruptured pipelines.

"I saw lots of cars and motorcycles with engines all over on the road, and doctors checking if bodies were dead or alive, "eyewitness Chen Guan-yuan, who was at the scene shortly after the blast, told the BBC.

Meanwhile, Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou has urged relevant authorities to help the rescue, his office spokeswoman MaWei-kuo said.



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