JULY 31, 2014

Kaohsiung Gas Explosions

July 31, 2014. Kaohsiung Gas Explosions

It was midnight, two days before Chinese Valentine’s Day, when five underground gas explosions ripped through Kaohsiung, Taiwan, hurling fireballs, concrete, cars, motorcycles and pedestrians high atop buildings, splitting gouges in 6 km of road that swallowed firetrucks and buses whole. Thirty-two people were killed (including four firefighters), 321 others injured and 12,000 residents evacuated. Among the first on the scene, yellow-shirted VMs from the Church of Scientology Kaohsiung began to distribute supplies and give assists. Since the culprit gas was propene (not extinguishable by water), VMs and other responders had to maneuver in and around the massive fire as it burned itself out. Weeks later, at the request of local police, the VMs put on a seminar to train officers and staff in Scientology techniques to ease pain and suffering.