According to an official report on Thursday, October 14, a fire broke out in Kaohsiung City in southern Taiwan overnight, killing 46 people and injuring 41 others.
Authorities said that in the early morning of the same day, a fire broke out in a 13-story multi-purpose building and several floors were destroyed before firefighters managed to control it.
A photo released by Taiwan’s state media, the Central News Agency, shows billowing smoke from the windows of the building. City firefighters dispatched more than 70 trucks to extinguish the fire.
According to Kaohsiung police officer Mr. Liu, this building has a history of 40 years and most of the people living in it are low-income residents. According to the same source, one hundred people live in this building.Firefighters said that most of the victims were located between the seventh and eleventh floors, which were residential apartments. The first five floors are for commercial use and are vacant.
He added that forensic investigators were at the scene and the authorities had not ruled out the possibility of arson.
Did not meet strict standards
Taiwan is often hit by earthquakes and typhoons and has strict building codes, but there is often a gap between these safety standards and the way in which they are implemented. Old buildings are also more likely to bring risks.
In the recent earthquake, some of the worst losses came from the collapse of old buildings that were not designed to meet standards.