Gas explosions kill 15, injure 228 in Taiwan

Associated Press
Gas explosion in Taiwan
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A destroyed fire truck is seen overturned in the rubble after massive gas explosions in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A series of underground explosions about midnight Thursday and early Friday ripped through Taiwan's second-largest city, killing scores of people, Taiwan's National Fire Agency said Friday. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A series of gas explosions on the streets of a southern Taiwanese city killed 15 people and injured 228 others late Thursday night, authorities said.

Taiwan's Premier Jiang Yi-huah said at least five explosions shook Kaohsiung. The National Fire Agency said five firefighters were among the dead.

Video from Taiwanese broadcaster ETTV showed a large fire burning the middle of a street, with smoke rising into the night sky.

A motorcycle and other debris were scattered across the middle of the roadway.

Mobile phone video captured the sound of a secondary explosion as flames leapt at least 30 feet (9 meters) into the air.

The force of the initial blast also felled trees lining the street. Local TVBS showed cars flipped over and shattered windows.

Power was cut off in the area, making it difficult for firefighters to search for others who might be buried in rubble.

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