TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A road paver in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District caught fire after accidentally digging up a gas pipeline on Monday night (Nov. 13), killing the 57-year-old operator surnamed Su (蘇).
The flames reached two stories in height, and smoke spread across an area of 10 square meters, per Liberty Times. Firefighters suspected that a flammable gas pipeline was accidentally dug up.
A preliminary investigation found that underground pipelines delivering oxygen and nitrogen buried at a depth of only 10 centimeters at a factory in a nearby industrial zone had "lost pressure." The road crew was not informed of the presence of an underground pipeline, the labor inspection office confirmed.
Investigators examine accident involving road paver. (CNA photo)
The Taoyuan City Fire Department sent 47 people and 18 vehicles to the scene. After shutting down the pipelines around 1 a.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 14), firefighters were able to successfully quell the fire.
Road paving accident leads to one fatality. (CNA photo)
According to open-air excavation standards, underground structures that may endanger laborers during drilling and trial excavation need to be reported in advance. If a construction unit fails to comply with such provisions, leading to an occupational accident or death, the case would be transferred to judicial authorities for investigation.
If on-site personnel are involved in criminal liability, they can be sentenced to up to five years in prison. Those involved in excavation operations have been reminded to comply with legal regulations to avoid accidents.