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A Couple's Bodies Were Found Embracing Each Other In The Aftermath Of Taiwan's Earthquake

The puppy they raised died by their side too.

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The bodies of a pair of university students were found hugging each other tightly Thursday morning under the ruins of a residential building in Taiwan.

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The building collapsed during a deadly earthquake last weekend in Taiwan that killed dozens and has left many more still trapped.

Tsai Meng-chia, the male student, was reported to be covering his girlfriend, Huang Ruo-hsin, with nothing but his own body as a desperate effort at protection. Rescuers struggled to unwrap his arms from around her.

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The young couple, both 21 and junior students, have been identified as students of the local Kun Shan University in the southern city of Tainan, where the magnitude-6.4 earthquake overturned the 16-story building where they lived.

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Tsai had posted many loving images of the two of them on Facebook, including this one of them hiking hand-in-hand over a year ago. The caption reads: "If we hold hands, I hope it's for my whole life."

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The two explored constantly, posting pictures of their exploits together all the while. "There are many more places in Taiwan that I still wanna see," Tsai once wrote.

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A friend of theirs asked for help from social media just after the quake happened. "Friends from Tainan, can you help me look for these four people? They might be in a hospital. We don't know whether to wait at the scene or to search," he wrote.

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Another two close friends who lived in the same building as Huang and Tsai were later found dead by the rescue team as well. Tsai and the two friends were all students majoring in electronic science and technology. It's reported that the four had just gotten home from a late-night birthday party.

The tributes have been pouring in online for the couple. "Tsai Meng-chia, have a good journey, I'm really sad. I was waiting for you to go to work with me, how come the cheerful you are gone," wrote a co-worker on Facebook on learning the sad news.

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Adding to the tragedy of the situation, the couple's pet dog — "Qiao-er" — was reportedly found dead alongside the couple.

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The death of the young couple has swept across Chinese-language media, prompting demands of a thorough investigation and punishment of the contractors of the Weiguan Golden Dragon complex over allegedly problematic construction work.

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The former developer and two executives of the company have been detained.

Beimeng Fu is a BuzzFeed News World Reporter covering China and is based in New York.

Contact Beimeng Fu at beimeng.fu@buzzfeed.com.

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