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Firefighters should up chemical fire control: ITRI

TAIPEI--Firefighters should improve their ability to prevent and control chemical fires in the wake of the gas explosions that killed dozens in Kaohsiung last week, a researcher with the state-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) said yesterday.

"I think even firefighters need to learn how to deal with (this incident)," Tseng Fan-ming, division administrator at the materials and chemical industrial division of the Industrial Economics & Knowledge Center of ITRI, said in a telephone interview.

He said it is difficult for firefighters to identify what kind of gas was leaking at the scene because different kinds of highly flammable petrochemical products, such as ethylene, propylene and butane, are identified using different tests and different equipment.

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