TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following reports of explosions at the Hsinchu Science Park on Thursday morning (May 19), photos shared on social media show black smoke surging from a building.
At 10:30 a.m., a user of the online forum PTT shared photos of smoke rising in the distance in a post titled “Fire at the Hsinchu Science Park?” Others quickly responded with more photos and speculated that the fire was at Air Liquide Far Eastern; one user reported hearing two explosions, while others reported flickering lights at their workplace within the science park.
One local shared videos of the fire to the Facebook group “Hsinchu People and Hsinchu Things,” confirming the fire at Air Liquide Far Eastern and warning people to stay away.
UDN reported that several fire engines were deployed to put out the blaze. The Hsinchu office of the Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) was cited as saying its power supply circuit had experienced a momentary drop in pressure, which resulted in a power outage that lasted less than one second in the Hsinchu Science Park.
No cause of the fire or injuries had been confirmed at the time of publishing. However, the Liberty Times cited a firefighter as saying a transformer had malfunctioned and caused the explosion.
The firefighter added that the amount of insulating oil in the building has made the fire difficult to contain and that the entire facility is engulfed in flames. Over 100 firefighters are on the scene, according to the Liberty Times.
Established in 1987, Air Liquide Far Eastern is a joint venture between France's Air Liquide Group and Taiwan’s Far Eastern Group. The company supplies a variety of gases to Taiwan’s electronics, medical, and other industries as well as for home care.