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Taiwan Gas Explosions
A destroyed fire truck is seen overturned in the rubble after massive gas explosions in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A series of underground explosions about midnight Thursday and early Friday ripped through Taiwan's second-largest city, killing scores of people, Taiwan's National Fire Agency said.Wally Santana—AP
Taiwan Gas Explosions
TAIWAN-GAS-EXPLOSION
Rescue personnel survey the wreckage after an explosion in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan on Aug. 1, 2014.
A car lands on top of a structure following an explosions that hit Kaohsiung city of Taiwan on July 31, 2013.
Taiwan Gas Explosions
Relatives of the victims cry after an explosion in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan on Aug. 1, 2014.
Destroyed roads and buildings after a gas leak explosions in Kaohsiung, southeast China's Taiwan on Aug. 1, 2014
People walk across a gap caused by an explosion in Kaohsiung
TAIWAN-ACCIDENT-EXPLOSION
A destroyed fire truck is seen overturned in the rubble after massive gas explosions in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Friday, Aug.
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Wally Santana—AP
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Gas Explosions Kill 25 in Taiwan

Aug 01, 2014

A series of five underground gas explosions tore apart Taiwan's second-largest city late Thursday, killing at least 25 people and injuring 267.

Officials said they believed the explosions that blasted cars and concrete into the air and ripped trenches through four streets in a busy district of Kaohsiung were caused by a leak of propene—a petrochemical material that is not intended for public use. The city's Environmental Protection Bureau director told Taiwan's Central News Agency that the propene came from a warehouse used by the petrochemical storage and transportation company China General Terminal & Distribution Corp. The gas lines that exploded belonged to the government-owned CPC Corp., which told the Associated Press the lines should no signs of trouble prior to the explosions.

"I was on my scooter just across the street, suddenly there was the explosion, a white car was blown toward me, and I saw the driver trapped in the car," said Wong Zhen-yao,who owns a car repair shop near the site of the blasts.

At least four firefighters were among the victims of the explosions.

About 12,000 lost power due to the blasts and more than 23,000 lost gas service.

An estimated 1,200 people evacuated affected areas of the city of 2.8 million Thursday night, most of whom have since returned to their homes. Cleanup is underway as authorities try to determine the details of what happened in the disaster.

[AP]

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