Tech factory fire causes stench over large areas of Taipei

Residents of Taipei City and New Taipei City were affected by air pollution from a factory fire in Shenkeng District overnight and this morning, leading to the mayors of the twin cities to advise residents to stay indoors and wear masks when going out.

According to the New Taipei City Fire Department, a fire broke out at the warehouse of a tech company on Beishen Road in Shenkeng District at around 2:00 pm yesterday, February 20. The fire department dispatched 75 personnel to the scene and the fire was extinguished at around 6:00 pm. However, the factory contained a large amount of plastic and lithium ion batteries, and smoke continued to drift out of the building overnight and this morning, causing a strong odor that wafted over large areas of eastern and southern New Taipei City as far away as Sanchong District.

NTCFD advised members of the public affected by the smell to stay indoors with windows and doors closed, and to wear a mask when going out.

Many residents took to social media in the middle of the night, complaining that they couldn’t sleep due to the acrid smell. Some reported feeling nauseous, having headaches, difficulty breathing and suffering other physical discomforts.

According to air quality tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, no toxic gases were detected. The EPA recommended that if people are worried about smelling odors, they can temporarily close the doors and windows of their homes and wear masks if they need to go out to reduce respiratory discomfort.

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