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September 17, 2014

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Gas explosions kill 15, injure 228 in Taiwan

Image

AP

Tossed vehicles line an destroyed street as flames continue to burn from multiple explosions from an underground gas leak in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A series of gas explosions on the streets of a southern Taiwanese city killed 15 people and injured 228 others late Thursday night, authorities said.

Taiwan's Premier Jiang Yi-huah said at least five explosions shook Kaohsiung. The National Fire Agency said five firefighters were among the dead.

Video from Taiwanese broadcaster ETTV showed a large fire burning the middle of a street, with smoke rising into the night sky.

A motorcycle and other debris were scattered across the middle of the roadway.

Mobile phone video captured the sound of a secondary explosion as flames leapt at least 30 feet (9 meters) into the air.

The force of the initial blast also felled trees lining the street. Local TVBS showed cars flipped over and shattered windows.

Power was cut off in the area, making it difficult for firefighters to search for others who might be buried in rubble.

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