Kaohsiung's mayor should resign: KMT
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China Post
August 9, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Kuomintang (KMT) legislative caucus yesterday urged Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) to take responsibility for the fatal gas explosions in her city and resign.
Up until Thursday morning, Chen had been lying, claiming that the Kaohsiung City Government knew nothing about LCY Chemical Corp.'s pipeline beneath the intersection of Ersheng Rd. (二聖路) and Kaixuan Rd. (凱旋路), KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) said.
It wasn't until KMT lawmaker Lin Kuo-cheng (林國正) produced evidence to the contrary that Chen apologized, Fai added.
A total of 30 people died, Fai said, adding that four Kaohsiung City officials' resignations will not make up for the tragedy.
The caucus requests that Chen step down and take responsibility for the lives lost, Fai added.
Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) previously lashed out at Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) over the gas explosions, but since it is clear now that the mayor rather than the minister should be held accountable, should the DPP lawmaker not apologize, Fai asked.
KMT lawmaker Wang Yu-min (王育敏) called on Chang to stay on as minister on behalf of her caucus.
The gas explosions were caused by human error, and if Chen has a conscience, she should step down, Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Hsu Kun-yuan (許崑源) said.
In the wake of the explosions, the city government repeatedly denied that it knew about the pipeline, but on Thursday, Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) admitted that the pipeline was a part of a construction project during his time in the hydraulic engineering division of the Public Works Bureau.
Yen Shih-yi (顏世一), head of the KMT's Kaohsiung chapter, urged prosecutors to expose the problems of Kaohsiung's underground infrastructure.
Chen should not try to leverage the tragedy to her advantage, Hsu said, blasting the mayor for lashing out at the central government for her own incompetence.
At around 7 p.m. on July 31, thousands of Kaohsiung residents smelled a gas leak, Yen said, adding that the first blast happened on Ruilong Rd. (瑞隆路) at 9:10 p.m., and that a subsequent blast happened on Gangshan W. Street (崗山西街) at 10:22 p.m.
At 11:56 p.m., a series of devastating blasts took place on Kaixuan 3rd Rd. (凱旋三路), Ersheng Rd. (二聖路) and Sanduo 1st Rd. (三多一路), Yen said.
This is a result of an entire administrative team being derelict of its duty, Yen said, urging Chen to take political responsibility and step down.