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Ministry initiates plan to check pipelines under city

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Economic Affairs said Saturday it will set up a system this coming week to help checks of underground pipelines and build a database for future safety management to prevent a repeat of the explosions in Kaohsiung that left at least 28 dead and over 280 injured two days before.

The ministry will start with the areas affected by the blast, Deputy Economics Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun said at a press conference at the Central Emergency Operation Center in Xindian, New Taipei.

It will then check all of Kaohsiung, he said, adding that investigations in other cities and counties will also begin at that time.

After collecting data and maps from businesses and local governments, the central government will verify information by comparison and seek professional consultation to see if current regulations need adjustment, Duh said.

Asked if the underground pipelines in Kaohsiung need to be relocated, he said his ministry will discuss the matter with the city government once the roads are repaired.

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