On Thursday, October 14, a fire in the southern city of Kaohsiung killed at least 46 people and injured dozens more. Authorities said the fire broke out in the early hours of the morning in a thirteen-story mixed utility building. Before firefighters could control it, it destroyed several floors of the building and turned it into a large fire.
“41 injured and 46 killed in fire”Kaohsiung firefighters said in a statement. Most of the victims were between the seventh and eleventh floors, which included apartments, firefighters said. The first five sites designed for commercial use were unmanned.
Photos released by Taiwan’s state-run Central News Agency showed smoke billowing from the building’s windows. City firefighters dispatched more than seventy trucks and it took four hours to put out the fire.
Residents said they heard several loud noises in the basement where the fire started. “I heard many noises “State, State, State” Down and I went down to inquire “, A resident of the building, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Formosa TV. That’s when I realized it was on fire, and I called the police. He added. The name of another survivor was described anonymously. “When I opened the exit door, the hallway was filled with black smoke”, She said.
Mr. from Kaohsiung. According to Liu, a police officer, the building, built 40 years ago, was home to about 100 people and was mostly occupied by low-income residents. Forensic investigators were at the site and authorities did not rule out the possibility of arson, he added. Emergency services have announced they will stop searching for bodies at night.
The island has been evolving into the deadliest island in decades. The last fire with a similar death toll began in 1995, when 64 people died in a crowded karaoke club.
Strict standards are not met
Often affected by earthquakes and hurricanes, Taiwan has strict building codes, but there is often a gap between these safety standards and the way they are implemented. Older buildings are also often at risk. In the recent earthquakes some heavy tolls caused old buildings to collapse, which were not designed to quality.
Earlier this year, forty-nine people were killed when a train collided with a lorry that had slipped on the tracks during the island’s worst train disaster in decades. Subsequent investigations revealed that government agencies had ignored warnings about the possibility of such an accident in this particular part of the foothills.