Taiwan authorities received calls from residents in Kaohsiung's Cianjhen district about suspected gas leaks, AFP reported. The leak triggered a series of explosions that were powerful enough to rip open roads and overturn cars.
The fire agency said in a statement: "The local fire department received calls of gas leaks late Thursday and then there was a series of blasts around midnight affecting a area of two to three square kilometres." Emergency workers rushed to the scene and were removing bodies from the area.
More top news
President Obama has declared a state of emergency in South Carolina after severe storms caused heavy flooding.
The last British prisoner in Guantanamo Bay is worried he will die before US authorities release him.
Proposal would see a task force set up to assess environmental impact from breaches of emissions testing rules.