Gas explosion in New Taipei kills 2, injures 5

Two dead and 5 injured in a gas explosion in New Taipei City's Sanchong District

Firefighter inside damaged home.

Firefighter inside damaged home. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- What is believed to have been a gas explosion ripped through a neighborhood early this morning (April 2) in New Taipei City's Sanchong District has claimed the lives of two and injured 5, reported CNA.

Because the blast occurred in an old, densely populated section of the city, the fire quickly burned a total of eight houses, reported UDN. The Fire Department mobilized 110 firefighters and 32 fire engines to contain the blaze, which erupted on No. 220 Lane, Datong North Road. Firefighters suspect that the explosion was caused by a gas leak, though the exact cause is still under investigation.

Although the fire was extinguished within 30 minutes, and an elderly woman surnamed Chang (張), 70, who lived on the second floor of one of the houses was burned beyond recognition. An 81-year-old elderly man surnamed Liu (劉) was rescued from the third floor and is currently being treated for severe burns, while his 78-year-old wife, also surnamed Liu, was found with no vital signs and was immediately rushed to the hospital, where she was later declared dead.


(CNA image)

Another two men and three women also sustained minor burns, cuts and bruises. Three were sent to the New Taipei City Hospital Sanchong Branch, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, and Mackay Memorial Hospital, with a total of 20 people evacuated from the scene, 14 of whom have been placed in local hotels.

Deputy Mayor of New Taipei Lee Shu-chuan (李四川) and Deputy Director of the Taipei Department of Social Welfare Lu Chun-ping (呂春萍) visited Liu and offered condolenses to him and his family for the loss of his wife. his family. Lu will initially provide NT$10,000 (US$343) to the families of those who died in the incident and will apply for a grant from New Taipei City to provide them with an additional NT$200,000 in compensation.


(CNA image)

Witnesses on the scene said everyone was still asleep when the the blast suddenly struck it jolted them out of bed, shattered windows and smoke quickly filled the air. Residents then scrambled through the thick smoke to find an escape route.

The road outside the houses is completely in shambles with debris strewn in all directions and extensive damage to cement blocks, aluminum doors, windows, air conditioners, security gates, signboards, furniture and scooters. A cleanup crew was busy clearing shatters aluminum doors and windows from the scene today.


(CNA image)


(CNA image)


(CNA image)