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Gas explosions kill 20, injure 270 in Taiwan

  • Flames from an explosion from an underground gas leak in the streets of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT

    Flames from an explosion from an underground gas leak in the streets of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT

  • The body of a victim killed in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT

    The body of a victim killed in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT

  • The body of a victim killed in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT

    The body of a victim killed in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT

  • A crushed vehicle sits in rubble on a destroyed street after multiple explosions from an underground gas leak in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT

    A crushed vehicle sits in rubble on a destroyed street after multiple explosions from an underground gas leak in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT

  • A crushed vehicle sits in rubble on a destroyed street after multiple explosions from an underground gas leak in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT

    A crushed vehicle sits in rubble on a destroyed street after multiple explosions from an underground gas leak in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT

  • Flames from an explosion from an underground gas leak in the streets of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT

    Flames from an explosion from an underground gas leak in the streets of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT

  • The body of a victim killed in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT

    The body of a victim killed in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT

  • Tossed vehicles line an destroyed street as flames continue to burn from multiple explosions from an underground gas leak in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT

    Tossed vehicles line an destroyed street as flames continue to burn from multiple explosions from an underground gas leak in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT

  • A victim in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT

    A victim in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT

  • Flames from an explosion from an underground gas leak in the streets of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT
  • The body of a victim killed in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT
  • The body of a victim killed in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT
  • A crushed vehicle sits in rubble on a destroyed street after multiple explosions from an underground gas leak in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT
  • A crushed vehicle sits in rubble on a destroyed street after multiple explosions from an underground gas leak in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT
  • Flames from an explosion from an underground gas leak in the streets of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT
  • The body of a victim killed in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT
  • Tossed vehicles line an destroyed street as flames continue to burn from multiple explosions from an underground gas leak in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT
  • A victim in a gas explosion from an underground gas leak is carried from the rubble in a main street in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.  A massive gas leakage early Friday caused five explosions that killed several people and injured over 200 in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung. (AP Photo)  TAIWAN OUT

20 people die in gas explosions in Taiwan

A series of underground gas explosions killed 20 people and injured 270 others late yesterday in Taiwan’s second-largest city, authorities said.

The National Fire Agency said five firefighters were among the dead. Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported that firefighters had been at the scene investigating reports of a gas leak when the explosions occurred.

Chang Jia-juch, the director of the Central Disaster Emergency Operation Center, said the leaking gas had been identified as propene, meaning that the resulting fires could not be extinguished by water. The source of the leak was unknown.

Associated Press

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