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Gas Explosions Rock Taiwanese City

At least 24 people were killed and more than 270 were injured recently in a series of at least five huge gas explosions in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung.

The explosions are believed to have been triggered by gas leaking from underground pipelines that caused a massive inferno that ripped through the city’s Cianjhen district.  Such was the force of the explosions that one street was split wide open along its length, swallowing fire engines and cars. Four firefighters were killed in the accident.

The cause of the gas leak, which was the second gas explosion in Kaohsiung in recent years, is still being investigated.  In 1997, an explosion killed one person and injured 22 when workers from Taiwan’s state-run Chinese Petroleum Corporation tried to unearth a section of gas pipeline as part of a road construction project.

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