Drug fugitive suspected of involvement in gas explosion

The China Post staff

A fugitive was suspected of being involved in a fatal gas explosion accident at a breakfast parlor in Taipei County yesterday. According to the police, Chou Kuo-lien, who is wanted by the police for possession of narcotics, was seen entering the Shanchung City breakfast parlor, which is owned by his niece, a short while before the explosion. The rescue team later uncovered Chou on the ground in front of the store amid pieces of shattered furniture and broken bottled gas.

After the explosion, a dense wave of smoke came through from the store to the second floor of the building, fatally wounding two young women and injuring one. The victims were identified as 23-year-old resident Cheng Mei-wen and 22-year-old Chen Shiao-fei, a friend of Cheng’s sister, who died of smoke inhalation. Cheng’s mother, who also suffered severe smoke inhalation, was in critical condition at Mackay Memorial Hospital. In a tearful account of the accident, the victim’s sister said they were sleeping at the time of the gas explosion. I went down to the first floor to check out the situation, but it was too late when I tried to go back to warn my mother and sister, she deplored. Chou was severely burned in the accident and was in stable condition at a hospital. However, during the treatment, doctors determined that Chou is addicted to drugs because his blood vessels have become rigid, a common symptom of drug addicts.

According to the police, Chou is listed as a wanted suspect and has a long record of substance abuse. The police suspected that the cause of accident was related to Chou’s drug problem.