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Powerful Taiwan gas explosions kill 24, injure 271

Published on Aug 1, 2014 3:48 AM

TAIPEI (AFP) - Gas leaks triggered a series of powerful explosions in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, killing at least 24 people and injuring up to 271, officials said on Friday, warning that the toll is expected to rise.

The explosions sparked a massive inferno that ripped through the city’s Cianjhen district, sending terrified residents fleeing a huge ball of flames.

“The blasts late Thursday killed at least 24 people and left 271 others injured,” the National Fire Agency said, adding that the injured were being rushed to various hospitals in the port city.  Eyewitnesses reported seeing dead bodies littered on the streets.

The explosions, believed to have been triggered by gas leaks, were powerful enough to upturn cars and rip open paved roads.

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