Kaohsiung monitoring new gas leak

Kaohsiung, Aug. 12 (CNA) Environmental authorities in Kaohsiung continued on Tuesday to monitor a gas leak that occurred in the city's Niaosong District a day earlier. The methane leak was traced to a household pipeline operated by Shinhsiung Natural Gas Co., which was required to switch off the line for repairs. The company will only be allowed to reopen the line after tests prove that it has been completely fixed, according to Chang Jui-hui, chief secretary of the city's Environmental Protection Bureau. The leak was reported at around 8 p.m. Monday near Zhongzheng 1st Road. The concentration of volatile gas detected in the air reached 5,000 ppm at one point. With the July 31 propylene-fueled explosions that killed 30 and injured over 300 in Cianjhen and Lingya districts still fresh in Kaohsiung residents' minds, the latest incident sparked panic among people fearing a repeat of the deadly blasts. (By Wang Shwu-fen and Y.F. Low)