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

  • Philippines authorities raise alert level after volcano explodes

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines' most active volcano has exploded thunderously and authorities warn a hazardous eruption is possible within days. Renato Solidum of the Philippines Institute of Seismology and Volcanology and other officials said Mount Mayon ejected a huge column of volcanic fragments, ash and steam into the sky around noon Monday, shrouding nearby villages in darkness. Source
  • Bangladesh, Myanmar insist repatriations of Rohingya will go smoothly

    World News CTV News
    DHAKA, Bangladesh - Both Bangladesh and Myanmar insist the repatriations of Rohingya Muslims will go smoothly, with thousands of refugees who fled their homes in terror just a few months ago crossing the border back into Myanmar and returning safely to their villages. Source
  • Shutdown continues as U.S. Senate talks drag on

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - The government shutdown will extend into the workweek as the Senate appeared to inch closer to ending a partisan stalemate late Sunday but fell short of agreement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said negotiations were still underway into the night, with a vote to break a Democratic filibuster on a short-term funding bill scheduled for noon Monday. Source
  • Tokyo holds evacuation drill to prepare for North Korean threat

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO - More than 300 people have participated in an evacuation drill in Tokyo under the scenario of an incoming North Korean ballistic missile. The drill was held at the Tokyo Dome amusement park, a subway station and a community centre downtown. Source
  • 'Colorado low' could pelt southern Ontario and Quebec with freezing rain

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA - It could be a messy start to the work week in southern Ontario and Quebec, with Environment Canada issuing freezing rain warnings for much of the region. The national weather forecaster says a system known as a "Colorado low" will move across the lower Great Lakes on Monday. Source
  • Crowdfunding site Beam provides job training for homeless 'in a dignified way'

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- His name is Tony, and for the last few years he’s been living in British hostels. In other words, he’s among the 300,000 people considered homeless in the United Kingdom. “I have plenty of regrets about my past, which I can’t change,” he told CTV News. Source
  • 'Some people just shouldn't have handguns': Mentally ill allowed to own, buy guns

    Canada News CBC News
    Family members whose loved ones have used legally obtained guns to end their lives are warning Canadians not to be "smug" about gun control, saying their stories show more could be done to ensure the law keeps guns away from people who pose a risk to themselves or others. Source
  • Pence visit to Middle East stirs anger over Jerusalem declaration

    World News CBC News
    When presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers visit the Holy Land, the script is simple: a trip to the Israeli Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, and then off to Ramallah to meet the Palestinian leader. Source
  • 'Somebody died because of that': Canada's mentally ill allowed to own, buy guns

    Canada News CBC News
    Family members whose loved ones have used legally obtained guns to end their lives are warning Canadians not to be "smug" about gun control, saying their stories show more could be done to ensure the law keeps guns away from people who pose a risk to themselves or others. Source
  • Fishermen take chilly challenge to raise money for Nova Scotia fire victims

    Canada News CTV News
    PUBNICO HEAD, N.S. -- Dozens of fishermen are plunging into frigid waters as part of a fundraising campaign, with some donations going to the survivors of a tragic fire in southwestern Nova Scotia. Todd Newell, a fisherman in Cape Sable Island, N.S. Source