Taipei, Aug. 30 (CNA) A volunteer firefighter died Saturday of injuries sustained in the chemical gas explosions in Kaohsiung almost a month ago, bringing the number of fatalities in the incident to 31. Tao Ting-chou, a volunteer firefighter for 16 years, died in a hospital shortly after midnight, family members and the hospital announced. He was 46. Tao suffered burns and severe head and back injuries and had been in a coma since the explosions that occurred late July 31. The explosions caused by an accumulation of inflammable chemical gas leaking from a illegal pipe in a box culvert killed 30 others and injured more than 300. The blasts also ripped apart roads along several blocks of commercial and residential buildings in Cianjhen District and repairs are expected to last until December.
The authorities are still investigating why a section of petrochemical pipeline crosses paths with the culvert and who should be held responsible. (By Wang Shu-fen and Jay Chen)