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April 27, 2017

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Investigators found pipeline with evidence of gas leakage: report

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- According to local media, a pipeline with holes in it was found in a culvert located nearby Ersheng Road and Kaisyuan Road in Kaohsiung, and investigators are positive that it is a point of gas leakage, but they are uncertain if there are more.

In order to find out the cause behind the series of explosions that wrenched apart Cianjhen District (前鎮區) in Kaohsiung City, local authorities have teamed up in their evidence collection and investigative efforts. Kaohsiung's Prosecutors Office, Public Works Department, Labor Standards Inspection Office, Criminal Investigation Division and Cianjhen Precinct are all collaborating to this end.

The spotlight has been placed on LCY Chemical Corp. (李長榮化工), the company that owns the pipelines containing leaks. LCY Chemical held a press conference yesterday morning and stressed again that the company would not dodge its responsibilities if the investigation's findings lays blame on the company.

Kaohsiung City Government previously identified LCY Chemical Corp as the party whose mishandling of pipelines resulted in the disaster.

LCY Chemical President Bowei Lee (李謀偉) held a press conference on Friday, saying that the company is cooperating fully with authorities in the investigation, and the company will shoulder responsibilities if it is indeed found guilty.

In yesterday's press conference, the media raised a number of questions for the company, such as if there were any irregularities in propene transport, if the company had followed the rules in reporting irregularities, the amount of leakage, and if it should be held responsible for the accident.

In response to the questions, LCY Chemical's spokesperson Abby Pan (潘俐霖) said that the company is "still investigating the accident" and failed to provide further information.

Although Pan stressed that the company would not dodge responsibility, she provided no detailed information in the press conference that claimed to provide "important explanation," arousing much discontent among members of the media.

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