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Gas leakage blasts shake Taiwan

2014-08-01 01:59

By (Xinhua)

Gas leakage blasts shake Taiwan

Wreckage of a damaged car is pictured after an explosion in Kaohsiung city of China's Taiwan, August 1, 2014. Gas leaks in the sewage system in the city led to multiple explosions late Thursday night. [Photo/Agencies]

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TAIPEI -  At least 20 people were killed and 270 others injured in gas leak explosions that hit Kaohsiung city of China's Taiwan on Thursday.

The dead included several fire fighters, according to a statement by the city government.

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

The island's fire-fighting authority said gas leaks were reported in the city's Cianjhen district at around 8:46 pm 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 am Friday.

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

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