At least one dead, 15 injured in explosion at Taiwan restaurant

Left: The aftermath of the explosion at a restaurant in the central Taiwan city of Taichung yesterday. The fire also engulfed a clothing store, a noodle eatery, as well as residential units above the shops. Above: Gas cylinders found at the eatery wh
The aftermath of the explosion at a restaurant in the central Taiwan city of Taichung yesterday. The fire also engulfed a clothing store, a noodle eatery, as well as residential units above the shops. PHOTO: FIRE BUREAU OF TAICHUNG CITY GOVERNMENT
Gas cylinders found at the eatery where the explosion and fire occurred.
Gas cylinders found at the eatery where the explosion and fire occurred.PHOTO: FIRE BUREAU OF TAICHUNG CITY GOVERNMENT

TAIPEI • At least one person was killed and 15 others injured, some with severe burns, after an explosion ripped through a popular curry restaurant in the central Taiwan city of Taichung yesterday.

Reports said an exploding gas cylinder was believed to be the cause.

The body of a woman was found in the bathroom of a second-floor apartment above the restaurant hours after the lunchtime blaze was brought under control, Central News Agency reported.

It said two of those injured were in critical condition, with burns to much of their bodies.

Among the injured were a heavily pregnant woman in her 30s and six people who were reported to be students from the nearby Feng Chia University. Local media said the students had just arrived at the curry restaurant, or were standing in line for their lunch, when the explosion occurred.

The 30-year-old owner of the restaurant is said to be in critical condition with second- and third-degree burns over 90 per cent of his body, the United Daily News reported.

A series of explosions was heard from the restaurant in the city's Xitun district just after midday before fire engulfed it, a clothing store, a noodle eatery, as well as residential units above the shops, Xinhua news agency quoted local fire officials as saying. Four residents had to be rescued by firemen using ladders.

Five ambulances, 23 fire engines and 69 firefighters were dispatched to the scene, which is close to the popular Feng Jia night market.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2017, with the headline 'At least one dead, 15 injured in explosion at Taiwan restaurant'. Print Edition | Subscribe