back to top
World

Rescuers Pull 113 Bodies From Rubble A Week After Taiwan Earthquake

At least 113 people were killed when the 6.4-magnitude earthquake toppled buildings, trapping hundreds.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Rescuers have recovered the bodies of 113 people a week on from the 6.4-magnitude earthquake which struck the Taiwan city of Tainan.

All but two of the dead were found at the ruins of the 17-story Weiguan Golden Dragon complex, the Associated Press reported.

A total of 327 people in the building survived.

According to Taiwan's Interior Ministry, workers extracted scores more bodies on Friday and Saturday morning. Four are still listed as missing.

Authorities have detained the building's developer Lin Ming-hui and two architects this week on suspicion of negligent homicide amid accusations his firm cut corners in the construction.

Tainan city officials said they will inspect several dozen other developments built by Lin, as well as other buildings in the Weiguan compound that did not collapse.

Police said the developer, named as Lin Ming-hui, and two of his colleagues were taken to the district court for questioning early Tuesday, the BBC reported.

Prosecutors are seeking to arrest them on charges of negligence leading to death.

The magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck 14 miles northeast of Pingtung City at 3:57 a.m. local time at a depth of 6.2 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Among those killed in the quake were a 10-day-old infant and three young children, the emergency response center said.

Authorities said two people were killed by falling objects elsewhere in Tainan.

Drone footage shows the damage of #TaiwanEarthquake, which killed seven people and trapping dozens of others. https://t.co/0k53rFhPlf

On Monday, a woman was found alive in the rubble under the body of her husband, who had shielded her from the collapse of the high-rise building two days before, the Associated Press reported.

The woman, named Tsao Wei-Ling, reportedly called out "here I am" as rescuers pulled the rubble from atop her.

On Sunday, both a baby and a young girl were rescued from the rubble, NBC News reported.

The high-rise building "first starting shaking horizontally, then up and down, then a big shake right to left," Tainan resident Lin Bao-gui told the Associated Press.

"I stayed in my bed but jumped up when I heard the big bang that was the sound of the building falling," he said.

Taiwan's interior minister said there would be an investigation into the fall of the 17-story high-rise. Nine other buildings in the city collapsed and five careened.

Rescuers went apartment to apartment, drawing red circles near windows of apartments they already had searched.

"I went to the top floors of the middle part of the building, where we found five people, one of whom was in bed and already dead," Liu Wen-bin, a 50-year-old rescuer from Taichung, told the AP. "Some people were found in the shower, some in the bedroom."

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

The center said 1,236 rescuers from outside Tainan were deployed, including 840 from the army, along with six helicopters and 23 rescue dogs.

Tainan's municipal government said it mobilized nearly 600 professional and volunteer firefighters.

The quake was felt as a lengthy, rolling shake in the capital, Taipei, on the other side of the island. But Taipei was quiet, with no sense of emergency or obvious damage.

The tremor was also felt as far away as mainland China.

Jon Passantino is a deputy news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jon Passantino at jonathan.passantino@buzzfeed.com.

Alicia Melville-Smith is a homepage editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alicia Melville-Smith at alicia.melville-smith@buzzfeed.com.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.