As it happened: 1 dead, 2 critical, 13 more injured in gas explosions

The China Post

The China Post’s live coverage of the event has concluded. Check the home page for follow-up news.

WHAT WE KNOW • Explosions and an ensuing blaze hit Taichung’s Fengjia business district at noon
• At least one person was killed and 15 injured, one with serious burns
• One victim was a pregnant woman

LIVE UPDATES 8:08 p.m. People have been taking to the Facebook page of the eatery where the explosions happened, Sin Ji Bridge Curry Restaurant (心齋橋咖哩名物), to express support for the business. Many say they hope the shop can get back on its feet, like this loyal customer who said they’d eaten there many times in the past few years.

6:45 p.m. A recap of what’s happened: at 12:22 p.m., a serious of explosions occurred at a curry restaurant on the first floor of a building in Taichung’s Fengjia area. They are believed to have been caused by a sparking igniting a leaking gas cylinder. The resulting fire destroyed three buildings, killing a woman on the second floor of the building housing the restaurant. Fifteen more were injured, with two in critical condition. Investigations into the exact cause of the blaze are underway.

6:35 p.m. Two of the 15 people injured are in critical condition, with burns to more than 90 percent of their bodies, reports say.

5:52 p.m. The number of injured has increased to 15 after a person who was at the scene when the explosions occurred sought medical treatment independently. The other 14 were sent to the hospital for treatment by emergency personnel.

5:35 p.m. Following the discovery of a body at the scene, here’s the latest on the fire and the other victims. Fourteen people were injured, 10 women and four men. Of them, six were students at nearby Feng Chia University. Nine of the victims had been inside the buildings at the time of the incident, with five of them suffering smoke inhalation. Three houses were burned to the ground. All of them were four-story buildings that also had illegal rooftop apartments constructed on top.

5:31 p.m. Dashcam footage recorded as the fire resulting from the explosions took hold of the building.

5:20 p.m. Reports say the woman’s body was found on the second floor of Sin Ji Bridge Curry Restaurant, where the explosion occurred, starting the fire.

5:10 p.m. In a major development, a body has been found at the scene of the fire. Authorities say the victim is female. This brings the toll up to one dead and 14 injured.

4:07 p.m. Police say that at least six households, a ramen shop and a clothing store in the proximity of the restaurant have been affected by the conflagration. The Fengjia area, where the incident occurred, was established in 1963 and is Taichung’s largest and most popular night market.