5 injured in gas explosion in Banqiao District; suspected suicide attempt

Four men and one woman were hospitalized suffering burns and glass cuts after a gas explosion in a residence in Banqiao District, New Taipei City, in the early hours of the morning, today, February 9.

According to reports in Apple Daily, and China Times, at around 2:20am residents around Lane 430, Xinhai Road, were awoken by a massive bang, causing windows to shatter around a 5th floor residence.

The glass doors of the residence were completely destroyed, and the bent and twisted remains of the apartment’s anti-burglar bars fell onto the street along with furniture and other debris.

Firefighters responding to emergency calls rescued three people from the apartment and sent them to Far Eastern Memorial Hospital to be treated for burn injuries. Another two people in a neighboring residence were also treated in hospital for glass cuts.

All five people were conscious when rescued, and no injuries were life-threatening.

A total of 10 fire appliances and six ambulances were dispatched to the scene.

According to preliminary investigations and statements by a female resident of the affected apartment, the 39-year-old woman named Lee is suspected to have released the gas and ignited it in an attempt at committing suicide.

Lee’s husband and brother-in-law, named Lin, were also in the apartment at the time, while her mother-in-law was downstairs sorting out recyclable materials.

Huang Deqing, director of the New North City Fire Department said that details of the cause of the explosion are still being investigated.

debris scattered on the street
Picture: Breaking news community Facebook page.
debris from gas explosion covers the street
Debris from a fifth-floor apartment scattered on the street after gas explosion. Picture: China Times.
inside an apartment after a gas explosion
The steel-reinforced concrete walls and internal columns of the apartment were cracked by the explosion. Picture: UDN.

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