By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Aug 1, 2014
More than 12,000 residents of the Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung who were evacuated following a series of gas leaks that devastated part of the city overnight have returned to their homes after being assured there is no further danger.
The underground gas explosions affected an area of more than a square mile, killing 26 people and injuring 267 others, including four firefighters.
Five different explosions destroyed four streets beginning at around midnight Thursday. Vehicles, including at least six fire trucks, were thrown into the air along with chunks of cement. The blasts left debris-filled trenches where roads had been.
Many people were out at that hour attending a nearby night market.
The blasts were thought have been caused by leaking propene, a petrochemical material.
NBC News has more dramatic pictures of the blast’s aftermath here.