A gas leak in a Taiwanese city caused a series of spectacular explosions that left at least 24 people dead and 271 injured, authorities said. The fatalities included five firefighters who rushed to the scene in Kaohsiung, where residents reported a smell of gas coming from the street drains before five fiery blasts that sent smoke billowing into the sky, flipped cars and scattered fallen trees and debris across the roads.
The fires were believed caused by a leak of propene, a petrochemical material not intended for public use, but the source of the gas was not immediately clear, officials said.
— The Associated Press
First published July 31 2014, 2:22 PM