IFRC

Taiwan Red Cross Organisation helps Kaohsiung blast survivors

Published: 1 August 2014 15:00 CET

By Francis Markus

The Taiwan Red Cross Organisation (TRCO) rushed to deliver emergency relief to residents  evacuated from parts of the southern city of Kaohsiung which was shaken by a series of midnight gas blasts leaving at least 24 people dead and more than 270 injured.

At least five  massive underground explosions occurred in the city’s Qianzhen and Lingya districts, starting around midnight and continuing into the small hours, crushing roads, buildings and cars over a 3 square kilometer area.

By 3.am, Red Cross volunteers and staff from local branches were already transporting blankets, sleeping bags and mats together with towels, bottled water and 500 sanitation kits for the affected communities.

Breakfast for shelter survivors

They provided breakfast for almost half of the 1,152 people evacuated to emergency shelters set up by the Kaohsiung City Emergency Operation Center was supported by the Taiwan Red Cross Organisation.

As well as the dead and injured, who included a number of firefighters, the incident also left 23,600 households without gas and 12,256 households without electricity.

Officials said the blasts may have been caused by a petrochemical leak from pipelines running alongside the sewage system .

They said a team of up to 100 investigators was being dispatched to investigate the cause of the disaster.

Second disaster for Kaohsiung

The explosions were the second major disaster in the space of a few days to hit Kaohsiung, which with about 2.8 million residents, is Taiwan’s second-largest city.

Last week, 48 people died after a passenger plane, which had taken off from the city’s airport, crashed on one of Taiwan’s outlying islands.




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