23rd September 2023 – (Taipei) A devastating fire broke out at a golf ball factory in Taiwan, resulting in the deaths of at least six people, including three firefighters who tragically lost their lives in an explosion, authorities confirmed on Saturday. The fire, which began on Friday evening and raged throughout the night, left over 100 individuals injured, predominantly workers, as reported by the Pingtung county government.
Regrettably, one firefighter and three other individuals are still missing. President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan visited the site on Saturday morning to pay her respects to the victims’ families. She expressed her condolences and assured the public that an investigation into the cause of the tragic incident is currently underway.
“I want to thank everyone for their hard work and please stay safe,” President Tsai conveyed her gratitude to the emergency response personnel present at the scene.
President Tsai also made a visit to the morgue to pay her respects to the victims and subsequently visited the injured individuals at a nearby hospital.
According to an official from the Pingtung Fire Department, the presence of stored chemical peroxide within the factory premises is suspected to have triggered the large explosion and subsequent smaller blasts. The force of the explosions led to a section of the factory roof collapsing, trapping several individuals inside.
Throughout the night and into the early hours, search and rescue operations continued at the Launch Technologies Company’s plant, as firefighters tirelessly battled the flames that persisted even 12 hours after the initial outbreak. Tragically, three firefighters were among those who lost their lives in the incident.