Massive fire engulfs Taiwan oil refinery after blast (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
The blast occurred at the oil refinery in Taoyuan, which belongs to a Taiwan petrochemical company, at 6:42am local time on Monday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. Although the site is located in a densely populated area with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants, there were no reported casualties.
VIDEO COURTESY Taiwan Observer
Locals heard a series of huge explosions that lasted for up to 10 minutes, with some comparing the sound to a “massive gun firing off for a long time,” Taiwan News reports. Others said the blast was like an earthquake, according to Xinhua.
Explosion and fire erupt at an oil refinery in Taiwan' s Taoyuan city around 6:40am local time. pic.twitter.com/ztVGCdh10j— Nepareizais (@Nepareizais) January 29, 2018
More than 40 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze, which reportedly affected an area covering 50 square meters. An initial investigation suggests a heating furnace tube ruptured and caused the explosion, despite the refinery having recently undergone annual maintenance.
The incident triggered protests among local residents, who demanded the relocation of the refinery. A number of accidents, including two serious explosions, have occurred at the facility since it opened in the 1970s.