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May 29, 2017

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Kaohsiung detects 10 ppm propene at explosion site

The Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Bureau (EPA) yesterday morning detected 10 ppm (parts per million) of propene on the Ersheng Road (二聖路) — one of the locations where gas explosions took place, saying that, however, the cause of the blasts is yet to be determined.

According to the Central Emergency Operation Center, as of yesterday 6 p.m., the gas explosions on Thursday have claimed 26 lives and injured 269 people. Two citizens are reported missing.

A total of 4.4 kilometers of road in the port city was damaged by the blasts. The government has suspended natural gas supply to over 23,000 households in Kaohsiung, adding that water and electricity services were also temporarily suspended, according to the Executive Yuan.

Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) told a press conference yesterday morning that based on an initial evaluation, a propene leak from an underground pipeline may have been the cause of the explosions, stressing that, however, the incident still requires further investigation.

Abnormal Propene Pipeline Pressure

The Kaohsiung Labor Affairs Bureau on Friday morning said that it went to the state-owned gasoline supplier CPC Corp.'s gas distribution center in the Cianjhen district of Kaohsiung and discovered there were abnormalities in the pressure on a four-inch propene pipeline between Thursday 8:40 p.m. and 9 p.m. The bureau said it has transferred the relevant records to the investigators.

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