3-year-old girl dies at gas station in southern Taiwan

The girl died after an incident at the Kaohsiung City station's self-service car wash

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CPC gas station on Ziyou Third Road, Kaohsiung (Google Maps image)

CPC gas station on Ziyou Third Road, Kaohsiung (Google Maps image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A three-year-old girl has died at a gas station in Kaohsiung City.

The girl is thought to have been killed by a high-pressure car cleaning gun. Her father was arrested and questioned for possible negligent homicide but later released on a bail of NT$60,000 (US$1,940).

The incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. on Jan. 20 at the self-service car wash section of a gas station on Ziyou Third Road in Kaohsiung’s Zuoying District. The city’s Ciaotou District Prosecutor’s Office seized footage from one of the station’s video monitors to aid the investigation.

CNA reports the girl’s father told police that she got out of the car and began playing with the air gun. He claims she put the gun in her mouth before turning pale and finally fainting.

The father said he then immediately rushed her to hospital.

A more recent report from UDN claims security footage shows the father’s car stopping at the gas station before he is seen holding the cleaning gun twice himself. The report says the man can be seen leaning into the car, where the girl is actually sitting, and patting her back.

It appears the man recognizes something is wrong with his daughter, the report says, but whether he took the gun into the car or gave it to her cannot be determined. The footage also does not show whether the girl held the gun herself or not.

The report states that it does however show she never left her seat.

Due to the fact that the girl died under particularly unusual circumstances, and there are discrepancies between what the father claims and what the security footage shows, the case is pending further investigation. Regardless of how she died, prosecutors determined the father failed his responsibility to protect the girl, resulting in his NT$60,000 charge.