4 firefighters killed, over 100 people injured in Pingtung factory fire
Pingtung, Sept. 23 (CNA) A fire and explosions at a factory in southern Taiwan's Pingtung County Friday evening killed at least four firefighters and injured 102 people, with six people still trapped at the scene as of early Saturday morning, according to the county government.
Search and rescue operations continued throughout the night and into the early hours of Saturday at golf ball manufacturer Launch Technologies Co's plant on Jingjian Road, as firefighters continued to extinguish the flames 12 hours after the fire initially started.
The bodies of three of the dead firefighters were found on the first floor of the factory, while the dozens of injured were rushed to hospitals, according to the county government.
The cause of the fire and subsequent explosions remains under investigation, but the Pingtung fire bureau said unexpected explosions occurred right after firefighters attempted to douse the flames with water and authorities suspect the presence of natural gas may have played a part.
The bureau said the explosions caused a section of the factory building to collapse, trapping several individuals beneath the rubble.
Interior Minister Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) arrived at the scene early Saturday and expressed his sorrow over the death of the firefighters and those affected, while pledging to support the families of the victims.
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