Fumes from chemicals at a plant specializing in man-made fibers spread across northwestern Taiwan and ignited Wednesday evening at the site of the leak, local media reports.
Odor from the fumes, a combination of biphenyl and diphenyl ethers, was obvious across Hsinchu County and into adjoining Miaoli County. Residents reported feeling nauseous from the smell.
Firefighters attempted to confine the fumes to the grounds of the Far Eastern New Century Chemical Fiber plant in Xinph using water spray. However, about four hours after the initial release, fire broke out at the source.
About four hours after the initial release, fire broke out at the damaged valve where the fumes originated.
The fire was brought under control within an hour and extinguished within 90 minutes, fire officials report.
The plant has a history of fire, most recently in January 2019, A chemical leak in November 2019 resulted in installation of pollution monitoring equipment.