Gas Suspected in Fatal Blasts That Jolted a City in Taiwan

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TAIPEI, Taiwan — A series of explosions ripped through the city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan on Thursday night, killing 25 people and wounding more than 260, the authorities said. The dead included at least four firefighters.

Kaohsiung’s mayor, Chen Chu, called the blasts a “suspected petrochemical material explosion,” but local officials said it was too early to pinpoint a specific cause.

At a news conference early Friday, officials said that a leak of ethylene, propene or butane may have caused the explosions after flowing into sewage lines, the government’s Central News Agency reported.

The news agency said that the disaster was “not connected to terrorism.” The explosions began around midnight Thursday, affecting more than a square mile of the city’s downtown. Residents reported a large-scale gas leak about 9 p.m. in the city’s Cianjhen District, Taiwan’s National Fire Agency said.

The force of the blasts overturned cars and caused…

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