Kaohsiung, Taiwan Explosion, Fire: 5 Dead, 200+ People Taken to Hospital After Gas Blast (Photos, Video)

An underground gas explosion has left at least 200 people injured in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on Thursday, according to preliminary reports.

The Associated Press reported that at least five people were killed and 228 were injured. Firefighters are among those killed in the incident.

Taiwanese PM Jiang Yi-Huah said there were at least five explosions.

Photos uploaded to Twitter showed roaring flames downtown.

The Focus Taiwan News Channel reported that “multiple gas explosions” rocked the streets. The gas leaks started at around 9 p.m local time.

“I saw fire spurting, ripping off some covers of ditches. It was terrifying,” a witness told the channel.



AP update for region:

Typhoon Matmo kills 13 people in China 

BEIJING (AP) — A typhoon has killed 13 people in China and left thousands in need of basic living supplies, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Sunday.

Typhoon Matmo dumped heavy rain on Taiwan before making landfall in China on Wednesday and being downgraded to a tropical storm. It brought strong winds and heavy downpours to several provinces.

Nine deaths were reported in eastern Jiangxi province and four in southern Guangdong province, while nearly 290,000 residents have been relocated and some 37,000 are in urgent need of basic living supplies, the ministry said. The storm also destroyed homes and crops and caused direct economic losses of 3.37 billion yuan ($547 million), it said.

The bad weather associated with Typhoon Matmo in Taiwan is considered a likely factor in a plane crash on a small Taiwanese island that killed 48 people on Wednesday.