Red Brick Daily

July, 2016

By contributor R.M. Smith

Inspectors from the Kaohsiung City Gas Department arrived this month, unannounced, at our home in eastern Kaohsiung.

Checking our gas connection and pressure, they discovered a gas leak in our kitchen. We had smelled “something” but attributed it to the gas water heater on the balcony just outside the kitchen.

The knowledge that it was our gas cooker that was leaking — which we use many times per day — may have saved my family.

I can’t fully express my gratitude.  Of course, I offered sincere thanks to the inspectors, but I wanted to offer more praise for this perhaps life-saving effort by the city. This letter is my public “thank you” and commendation of the government’s efforts .

The tragic July 2014 Kaohsiung gas explosions are forever seared into the memory of any who witnessed the devastation.  Thirty-two people were killed and 321 others were injured.

Some two years later, nearly all damaged areas have been renovated, with roads and sidewalks rebuilt as life and commerce returns. Where the gas explosions left craters, today we see a state-of-the-art tram line operating.

This progress is also greatly commendable.

In short: Good for you, Kaohsiung!

If the city continues to be proactive, and both governmental and civic groups work in tandem to improve safety and quality of life issues, perhaps the sad loss of so many in 2014 will have a silver lining.

As a decades-long resident of Kaohsiung, I’m increasingly proud of my adopted city and I believe Kaohsiung is on its way to being an example of a true 21st century “World Class” Asian mega-city.