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Taiwan: 46 dead in building fire, one of the deadliest in the world

2021-10-14T11:45:41.727Z

Forty-six people died and dozens more were injured in a fire that broke out Thursday, October 14 in a building of ...



Forty-six people died and dozens more were injured in a fire that broke out Thursday, October 14 in a building in the city of Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan, one of the deadliest in a building housing for 20 years in the world.

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"

The fire left 41 injured and 46 dead,

" Kaohsiung firefighters said in a statement.

The fire broke out in a 13-story mixed-use building in the wee hours of the day, authorities said, and ravaged several floors before firefighters managed to bring it under control.

70 trucks to fight the fire

Most of the victims were between the seventh and eleventh floors, which housed residential apartments, firefighters said.

The first five floors, intended for commercial use, were unoccupied.

City firefighters dispatched more than 70 trucks to tackle the blaze, which they took four hours to put out.

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Residents said they heard a number of loud noises on the lower floors where the fire started.

"

I heard many loud bang, bang, bang bangs on the ground floor and went downstairs to investigate,

" a resident of the building told Formosa TV, who preferred to remain anonymous.

Another survivor described on condition of anonymity her grueling escape.

When I opened the door to exit, the hallway was filled with black smoke,

” she said.

A Kaohsiung police officer told AFP the building is 40 years old and mostly occupied by low-income residents.

Authorities have yet to rule out the possibility of arson, he added.

Failed security

Forensic teams were on site and further searches of the building were scheduled before sunset. The fire is shaping up to be the deadliest in Taiwan for several decades. The last fire with a death toll of a similar magnitude dates back to 1995, when 64 people died in a crowded karaoke club. It was also one of the deadliest apartment building fires in 20 years worldwide.

Frequently hit by earthquakes and typhoons, Taiwan has strict building codes, but there is often a gap between these safety standards and the way they are enforced, especially in older buildings.

Some of the heaviest tolls in recent earthquakes have come from the collapse of old buildings, which were not designed up to standards.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-10-14

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