A gas explosion yesterday at a petrochemical plant in the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團) naphtha cracker complex in Yunlin County’s Mailiao Township (麥寮) sparked a fire, but there were no casualties, a FPG executive said.
The blast was triggered by a leak of liquefied petroleum gas, said Chen Wen-yang (陳文仰), a deputy director in FPG’s Mailiao management division.
The explosion occurred at an aromatics production factory run by Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (台灣化纖) at about 2pm, and the blast was heard by people living up to 6km away, local firefighters said.
It was followed by a dense plume of smoke rising into the sky.
The fire was reported to the Yunlin County Fire Department at 2:05pm and fire trucks and ambulances from several brigades were dispatched to the plant.
When they arrived 20 minutes later, a fire was blazing, the firefighters said.
The blaze was quickly brought under control, Chen said.
Operations at the aromatics factory have been suspended to allow for a complete inspection of its pipelines, he added.
The Yunlin County Government, which ordered the factory to be immediately shut down for the investigation, said it would impose a NT$5 million (US$162,248) fine on the company for contravening the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法).
It demanded that FPG replace old pipelines and equipment in the naphtha cracker complex.
The group should also take full responsibility for the repairs of nearby fish ponds and residential properties damaged by the explosion, the country government said.
A TAIWAN FIRST: The duo are the first badminton players from Taiwan to climb an Olympic podium, and Tai Tzu-ying has a shot at doing the same today Taiwanese badminton duo Lee Yang (李洋) and Wang Chi-lin (王齊麟) yesterday won the nation’s first Olympic gold medal in the sport when they prevailed over a third-seeded Chinese pair in the final of the men’s doubles at the Tokyo Olympics. Lee and Wang, both first-time Olympians, defeated Liu Yuchen (劉雨辰) and Li Junhui (李俊慧) 21-18, 21-12 in a 34-minute final at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza. As of yesterday, Taiwan had bagged seven medals in Tokyo — two golds, two silvers and three bronzes — topping its previous best of five medals in 2000 and 2004. Taiwan moved to No. 17 in the
‘TEAM TAIWAN’: Taiwanese athletes have performed admirably and raised the nation’s profile, but many abroad still think they are Chinese, an advocate said Advocacy groups have called for the national team to compete under the name “Taiwan” at the Tokyo Olympics, while former Olympian Chi Cheng (紀政) has launched another referendum petition on the issue. Taiwanese athletes have performed outstandingly at the Olympics and have raised the nation’s profile on the world stage, Northern Taiwan Society chairman Lee Chuan-hsin (李川信) said on Friday. “Many foreign news agencies, including Japan’s NHK, have called our delegation ‘Taiwan’ instead of ‘Chinese Taipei.’ Therefore our own people and politicians should also speak of ‘Team Taiwan’ and Taiwanese athletes,” he said. “However, in Taiwan, most of the time the Taiwanese team
SOAKED: Although rain in central and southern Taiwan is to ease today, chances of heavy or extremely heavy rain would be high in the morning, a CWB forecaster said Extreme torrential rain brought by a southwesterly jet stream yesterday wreaked havoc in central and southern Taiwan, causing flash floods and triggering mudflows and landslides in mountainous areas. By 5pm yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau’s observation station in Yuyoushan (御油山) in Kaohsiung’s Liouguei District (六龜) had registered accumulated rainfall of 726.5mm since 12am on Saturday, the highest among the bureau’s observation stations. It was followed by the observation station in Kaohsiung’s Maolin District (茂林), which recorded accumulated rainfall of 671.5mm over the period. Six of the 10 observation stations that recorded the highest accumulated rainfall yesterday were in Liouguei, bureau
MEDIGEN: The Central Epidemic Command Center plans to wait until about 500,000 to 600,000 doses have passed testing before offering it in the vaccination program The inspection of the first four batches of the domestic COVID-19 vaccine has been completed and the doses are ready to be rolled out, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday. The inspection of the four batches of the vaccine made by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗), a total of 265,528 doses, was completed on Friday last week and they are being sealed at a designated warehouse in preparation for use, FDA Research and Inspection Division head Wang Teh-yuan (王德原) said. The sealing was expected to be completed yesterday evening, he said. The Medigen vaccine, the first protein-based COVID-19 vaccine to be