Kaohsiung's Cianjhen District
took the brunt of the explosions Thursday night. The blasts were centered on Kaisuan Road and Ersheng Road, where Cars were overturned and the bodies of the injured were strewn on the streets amid the flames, according to survivors.
Witnesses say the gas leaks
which began around 9 p.m. started forming a dense cloud on the streets, and then the explosions and flames erupted. One witness, a Mr. Liu said he thought some sort of "poisonous gas" had leaked from an old railway and the site where Kaohsiung's light rapid transit system is under construction. "I saw fire spurting, ripping off some covers of ditches. It was terrifying," he said.
An official from the fire department said many injured were taken to hospitals and nearby schools. They also expect the number of injured to rise. The blasts were felt in four districts of this port-city of 2.7 million people, most of them Chinese.
Taiwan's Premier Jiang Yi-huah says there were at least five explosions
late Thursday night in Kaohsiung. An updated report from local officials is saying the death toll is expected to rise along with the injured. It was also reported that five firefighters have been killed while fighting the blaze.