Residential gas explosion leaves 1 dead, 2 injured in New Taipei City

An elderly woman died, and her caregiver and a neighbor were injured, after a gas explosion tore through an apartment in Banqiao District today, February 21.

New Taipei City Fire Department received reports of a blast followed by a fire in a first floor apartment in a lane off Xianmin Boulevarde at 12:39 pm. Twenty-five vehicles and 68 personnel were dispatched to the scene.

A 34-year-old foreign caregiver and a 20-year-old Taiwanese man were found injured and rushed to hospital. Firefighters took around 20 minutes to extinguish the fire, and found the remains of an 88-year-old woman, named Su, inside the apartment.

According to the investigation so far, the foreign nurse, named Ani, smelled gas, and not knowing what to do, called on a neighbor to help. The neighbor, named Chen, had just followed Ani back into the apartment when the explosion occurred.

Ani suffered burns to 40% of her body and remained conscious, while Chen suffered from lacerations described as “minor injuries.”

The cause of the explosion and fire is suspected to be a leaking gas cylinder in the kitchen of the apartment.

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