3 workers injured after roadworks sewer-gas explosion in New Taipei City

Three workers were injured, two cars damaged, and a McDonald’s fast food restaurant suffered broken windows and a damaged ceiling after an explosion Banqiao District this morning, April 26.

According to reports, at around 8:45am, workers on a sidewalk and sewer improvement project, at the intersection of Duxing Road and Xicheng Road, were drilling into the ground when flammable gases in the sewer ignited, blowing a manhole cover into the air, and spraying chunks of broken pavement into nearby buildings and vehicles.

The most seriously injured was a 53-year-old man named Wu, who suffered burns to his face and arms, and spinal injuries.

A 59-year-old man named Lai suffered burns to his face and upper body, and a 60-year-old man named Chen suffered burns to his upper body. The injured workers were taken to Far East Memorial Hospital and Shuang-Ho Hospitals.

Two cars passing by had their windshields smashed by flying pieces of pavement, with one chunk landing in the passenger seat of one of the cars.

A MacDonald’s restaurant had a broken window on the second floor and ceiling tiles damaged by the blast.

The heavy iron manhole cover was blown into the air and crashed through the roof of a factory in Bo’ai Street, around 150 meters from the site of the explosion.

Gas company inspectors said that gas levels at the site did not register as abnormal, and it is suspected that the explosion may have been due to a build up of biogas in the sewer. However, project managers said that the new sewer has not been connected yet, and did not contain any sewage.

Investigations into the cause of the blast are ongoing.

Car damaged by explosion. Picture: New Taipei City Fire Department.

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Sources: Liberty Times Network , United Daily News, Yahoo Chimo.

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