A gas explosion in a commercial kitchen in New Taipei City’s Wugu District destroyed equipment and vehicles, and left 12 injured this morning, June 7, 2017.
Witnesses reported hearing an ‘ear-splitting’ explosion at around 11:00am from the building which houses a commercial kitchen.
Panicked workers rushed out of the building which was extensively damaged. Several vehicles were also badly damaged, including a truck, a van, a sedan, and many motorcycles.
On receiving a report of the massive blast, New Taipei City Fire Bureau, activated the “mass casualty rescue mechanism.” Fifty-five rescue vehicles, including ambulances and firetrucks were dispatched to the scene.
New Taipei City disaster response center reported that 12 people have been hospitalized, including 7 women and 5 men.
Among the casualties are a 56 year-old man who suffered 2nd degree burns to 15-20% of his body, including his face, back, and arms. A woman in her 30s suffered lacerations to her forehead. The two people’s injuries were described in Liberty Times Network as “fairly serious” and both were rushed to Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in Banciao District.
Other injured workers were sent to McKay Memorial Hospital in Danshui (Tamsui), Hsin Tai General Hospital in Xinzhuang District, and New Taipei City Hospital in Banciao District.
Injuries were described as being mostly burns and glass cuts. Among the injured was a 15 year-old male.
Labor Inspectors: Obvious Violations
New Taipei City Labor Inspectorate has begun an investigation into the cause of the blast. A preliminary inspection found 20 unfixed steel gas cylinders in the basement that were said to constitute “obvious violations” of safety regulations.
The gas cylinders were connected in a series. One gas line had become disconnected and was likely the source of the leak. As the gas cylinders had just been replaced this morning, careless workmanship is suspected as a cause of the disaster.