Seven dead and dozens still trapped after 17-storey apartment building collapses
A powerful earthquake hit Taiwan on Saturday killing at least seven people, most in a 17-storey apartment building that failed, with about 35 people still feared trapped there hours into a rescue operation.
As a hunt for survivors in the debris went on, questions were being raised about the construction of the Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building, with its floors that pancaked down on each other when the 6.4 magnitude tremor hit at around 4 a.m. (2000 GMT), at the start of a Lunar New Year holiday.
Five of the dead, including a 10-day-old girl, were from the apartment building in the southern city of Tainan.
Rescuers mounted hydraulic ladders and a crane to scour the ruins, plucking more than 220 survivors to safety, with dozens taken to hospital, a fire brigade official said. Buildings in nine other places in the town of 2 million individuals had failed and five were left tilting at alarming angles, a government emergency center said.
But a fire department official said rescue efforts were focused on the apartment block, the place where a kid ‘s clothing fluttered from a first floor laundry line and also the smell of leaking gas hung in the air.