PINGTUNG, Sept 24 — A devastating fire and ensuing explosions at a factory in southern Taiwan left at least five people dead and over 100 wounded, Taiwanese officials said yesterday.

What do we know so far?

The blaze ignited late Friday at a golf ball manufacturing plant in Pingtung County, and continued throughout the night.

Among the victims are three firefighters, along with a male and a female employee. An additional five people, including another firefighter, are still stuck at the disaster site as rescuers search for those trapped under the rubble.


Pingtung County Magistrate Chou Chun-mi said in a social media post that a probe has been launched into the tragedy.

“Facing the grief of the family members, I could not say anything except to bow deeply, apologise, and express my deepest condolences,” Chou said after meeting the loved ones of those who died.

Taiwan’s president expected to visit Pingtung


Taiwanese news outlet Focus Taiwan reported that Taiwanese Interior Minister Lin Yu-chang visited the factory early yesterday.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen also expressed her condolences and is expected to visit Pingtung. Tsai said an emergency relief facility has been set up to aid those affected by the blaze.

Taiwanese officials believe natural gas may have played a role in the fires and subsequent blasts.

Fires at factories are not uncommon in heavily industrialised Taiwan. In 2019, Taiwanese site Taiwan News reported that 2 people died after a blaze at a factory in Taichung, located on the west-central part of the island. — DW