The blaze began within the 13-story business and residential constructing at 2:54 a.m. native time (2:54 p.m. ET) in Kaohsiung metropolis’s Yancheng district, based on Taiwan’s official Central Information Company (CNA).
Rescue operations are nonetheless underway, with greater than 377 rescue staff deployed to the scene, a spokesman on the Kaohsiung metropolis fireplace bureau informed CNN. At the very least 41 individuals have suffered accidents, he stated.
Initially, authorities put the loss of life toll at seven, however the metropolis’s fireplace chief Lee Ching-hsiu warned extra casualties had been anticipated as some individuals should be trapped within the residential a part of the constructing, between the seventh and eleventh flooring.
A complete of 139 fireplace vehicles and ambulances had been deployed to the scene and extinguished the hearth by 7:17 a.m. (7:17 pm ET), CNA stated. By noon, at the very least 62 individuals between the ages of 8 and 83 had been rescued.
Greater than 100 residents, a lot of them senior residents with bodily disabilities, reside within the constructing, based on CNA.
It’s unclear what brought about the hearth, based on CNA. Native police are reviewing surveillance footage and stated they can not rule out human components, based on the report.
Lee informed CNA the variety of casualties was excessive because of a mix of things: The hearth occurred in a single day; the vast majority of residents had been aged; the stairwells had been filled with particles; and the constructing supplies didn’t meet fireplace security requirements.
Kaohsiung mayor Chen Chi-mai apologized at a night information convention.
He defined that the primary six flooring of the constructing had been constructed for business use, with the seventh ground and above for housing.
Whereas there have been now not any companies on the primary six flooring, there have been a lot of flammable objects there. This was one of many essential causes for the heavy casualties, stated Chen.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her “deepest condolences” to the victims of the hearth in a Fb submit.
Tsai promised that her authorities will “spare the most efforts” to rescue those that are trapped, resettle the residents affected by the fires, and supply mandatory help to households of victims.
“Facing this serious accident, we extend our deepest condolences to the victims, and we wish the injured a speedy recovery,” she wrote on Thursday afternoon native time.