Prosecutors seek detention of developers of toppled building in Taiwan

TAINAN, Taiwan - Prosecutors have requested the detention of the developers of a high-rise apartment building in southern Taiwan that collapsed over the weekend following a strong earthquake, killing dozens of people, official media said Tuesday.

See Full Article

The Tainan District Prosecutors Office said Lin Ming-hui and two others, identified only by their surnames, Chang and Cheng, were suspected of negligence resulting in death, Taiwan's official Central News Agency reported.

The office requested their detention to prevent collusion or other acts that could disrupt the investigation, CNA said. A hearing on the matter was scheduled for later Tuesday.

The death toll in the quake stood at 41 on Tuesday afternoon, with all but two of the deaths coming in the building collapse. More than 100 people are believed to still be trapped in the debris.

Shoddy construction is suspected as having contributed to the disaster, with the 17-story Weiguan Golden Dragon, built in 1989, the only major building to collapse in the quake.

Although the shallow quake was potentially devastating, few buildings were damaged as a result of strict construction standards in force in Taiwan, an island that is frequently struck by quakes.

Most of the 320 people who were rescued from the disaster were saved in the hours immediately after the quake, in which the building collapsed onto itself before toppling over onto its side.

Among the survivors, Ko Ching-chung said he had propped himself against a wall to avoid falling onto his girlfriend after the quake hit just before 4 a.m. Saturday. But after 20 hours, he could no longer hold on and collapsed onto her.

"She would have soon not been able to breathe," Ko, who was rescued along with his girlfriend on Sunday morning, told reporters Monday at the hospital where he was recovering. "I said to her I had to lay on top of her and she said to me it's OK."

Five survivors were believed to have been pulled out on Sunday, and at least four on Monday. One of them, Tsao Wei-ling, called out "Here I am" as rescuers dug through to find her.

She was found under the body of her husband, who had shielded her from a collapsed beam, CNA reported. Tsao's husband and 2-year-old son were found dead, and five other members of the family remained unaccounted for, the news agency said.

Teams on Monday also rescued a 42-year-old man and an 8-year-old girl.

The girl, Lin Su-chin, was recovering in a hospital, where she told her father and grandparents that she was looking forward to gorging on sweets as soon as she was well enough.

Shortly after she was rescued, workers also pulled out her aunt, a 28-year-old Vietnamese woman identified as Chen Mei-jih, who had been trapped on what was the building's fifth floor.

Earthquakes rattle Taiwan frequently. Most are minor and cause little or no damage, though a magnitude-7.6 quake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.

The quake struck during the most important family holiday in the Chinese calendar - the Lunar New Year.

The extended Lunar New Year holiday - the most important family holiday in the Chinese calendar - officially started Monday, but celebrations in Taiwan have been subdued.

-----

Associated Press videojournalist Tassanee Vejpongsa in Taipei, Taiwan, and writers Louise Watt and Christopher Bodeen and news assistant Henry Hou in Beijing contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 12 dead in hotel fire in Georgia's Black Sea resort

    World News CTV News
    TBILISI, Georgia -- The Georgian Interior Ministry says 12 people have died in a fire in a hotel in the Black Sea resort city of Batumi. Russia's TASS news agency is quoting the ministry as saying the fire engulfed the Leogrand hotel late Friday evening. Source
  • Canadian charged in Yahoo hacking case to plead guilty in U.S., court records say

    Canada News CBC News
    A Canadian accused by the United States of helping Russian intelligence agents break into email accounts as part of a massive 2014 breach of Yahoo accounts is expected to plead guilty next week, according to court records. Source
  • Notley wins over Calgary business crowd, starting with 'eastern bastards' remark

    Canada News CBC News
    Two years after struggling through a speech in front of an awkwardly silent business crowd, Rachel Notley stood before the Calgary Chamber again on Friday and opened with a joke. "I spent the earlier part of the week out in Ontario — you know, the home of those eastern bastards," the Alberta premier said. Source
  • Starting with 'eastern bastards' remark, Notley wins over Calgary business crowd

    Canada News CBC News
    Two years after struggling through a speech in front of an awkwardly silent business crowd, Rachel Notley stood before the Calgary Chamber again on Friday and opened with a joke. "I spent the earlier part of the week out in Ontario — you know, the home of those eastern bastards," the Alberta premier said. Source
  • Jewish group, residents of Ontario town urge new name for 'Swastika Trail'

    Canada News CTV News
    A major Jewish advocacy group in Canada has stepped up efforts to help some residents of an Ontario town convince local politicians to rename a street currently called Swastika Trail. B'nai Brith Canada started an online petition Thursday calling on Puslinch Township, about 75 kilometres west of Toronto, to change the street name. Source
  • Fraud trial of the 'Muslim Madoff' adjourned after accused fires lawyer: Crown

    Canada News CBC News
    The trial of a Toronto businessman charged with fraud for allegedly pocketing millions in "Shariah-compliant" mortgages has been delayed until next fall — just as it was beginning. The opening day of the trial for Omar Kalair, dubbed the "Muslim Madoff" by some of the homeowners who were allegedly left thousands in the hole after buying into the mortgages marketed to Muslims, got underway earlier this month. Source
  • False killer whale is latest cetacean to die at Vancouver Aquarium

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Aquarium says the false killer whale it rescued off a beach over three years ago has died at the facility. The aquarium says in a statement that Chester's behaviour changed Wednesday and despite intensive veterinary care, he died this morning. Source
  • 'Chester' is 4th cetacean dead at Vancouver Aquarium this year

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- A false killer whale has died at the Vancouver Aquarium, becoming the fourth cetacean to die at the facility in the past year. The aquarium said in a statement that Chester's behaviour changed Wednesday and despite intensive veterinary care, he died on Friday morning. Source
  • Politician's baby banned from municipal assembly in Japan

    World News CBC News
    A baby brought into a Japanese municipal assembly chamber by his lawmaker mother was promptly ejected because his presence was against the rules, an official said on Friday, highlighting the hurdles faced by working women in Japan. Source
  • Senior Ukraine separatist: Rebel chief has resigned

    World News CTV News
    MINSK, Belarus -- A senior separatist official in eastern Ukraine on Friday announced the resignation of thebeleaguered rebel chief in an apparent palace coup, ending a four-day showdown between rivaling factions. Leonid Pasechnik, state security minister of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, said in a statement on Friday evening that the republic's chief Igor Plotnitsky has resigned on health grounds. Source