The number of casualties from a series of gas explosions that went off early Friday morning at a construction site in Kaohsiung, Taiwan has climbed up to 35, People’s Daily reports, as another 267 people were injured in the blasts.
Authorities said that gas leaks were reported in the city’s densely-populated Cianjehn district around 8:46 p.m. on Thursday. At least five explosions went off around midnight on Thursday into Friday morning. Four firefighters called to the scene to investigate the gas leaks were among those dead, the Associated Press reported.
Over 7,500 families in the area experienced a blackout in the wake of the blasts. So far, eight shelters have been set up to assist 1,110 affected residents, according to the People’s Daily report.
The death toll is expected to rise, as many people were believed to have fallen into hallows of the road that was ripped apart in the blasts. An area as large as three square kilometers was affected by the explosions.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu said that the event was the worst of its kind in the past decade.