Firefighters work overnight battling chemical factory fire in Kaohsiung City

Firefighters in Kaohsiung City worked through the night to extinguish a fire at a chemical plant in the Linyuan Industrial Park after an explosion and fire was reported at around 8:30 pm yesterday evening, January 29.

Thirty-six vehicles and 75 personnel were dispatched from 14 fire stations to battle the blaze at the UPC Technology Corporation (1313.TW) plasticizer plant on Gongye 2nd Road.

The fire destroyed around 300 square meters containing plasticizer dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and phthalic anhydride (PA) production lines. No casualties were reported and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The fire was described as intense and difficult to control due to the large amount of chemical raw materials involved. Firefighters battled to stop the fire spreading to the adjacent Formosa Plastics, and Taiwan Petrochemical Corporation plants.

The fire was brought under control at around 10:30 pm, but firefighters continued to deal with residual fires overnight, and were still dousing the area with water at 7:00 am this morning.

The Kaohsiung City Environmental Protection Bureau closely monitored air quality around the site saying that the plasticizers were a level one poison. The company will be fined NT$5 million under Article 32 of the air pollution law.

Nearby residents complained that this was the fourth pollution incident in the Linyuan Industrial Park this month, after a biogas explosion at the wastewater plant of the Taiwan Benzene Chemical plant January 12, a smoke incident at the Yaju Linyuan Plant January 22, and an air pollution incident at the Xinchang Chemical Plant January 27.

fire trucks at scene of fire
36 fire appliances were dispatched from 14 fire stations.
plant after fire
UPC Technology Corporation Linyuan plant after fire.
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