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

  • China imposes limit on oil supply to North Korea

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- China announced Saturday that it will limit oil exports to North Korea under U.N. sanctions over its nuclear and missile development, further reducing support from Pyongyang's last major trading partner, energy supplier and diplomatic ally. Source
  • Tempers fray as search for Mexico earthquake survivors winds down

    World News CBC News
    Tempers frayed in Mexico City on Friday as the search for survivors amid twisted rubble of collapsed buildings began to wind down, three days after the country's most deadly earthquake in a generation. The 7.1 magnitude quake levelled 52 buildings in the sprawling Mexican capital at lunchtime on Tuesday, leaving thousands homeless and close to 300 people dead. Source
  • Does North Korean H-bomb threat push U.S. closer to war?

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Would exploding a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific, as North Korea has threatened, push the current war of words between the U.S. and North Korea closer to actual war? As with much that has transpired lately in the U.S. Source
  • In Jojutla, Mexico, earthquake left hundreds homeless and hungry

    World News CTV News
    In the Mexican town of Jojutla, hundreds of people have been left homeless by Tuesday’s earthquake and so many buildings are damaged that some locals fear their town may never be rebuilt. Jojutla is just 50 kilometres from the magnitude 7.1 quake’s epicentre. Source
  • Now that bestiality is illegal in Ohio, convicted child rapist charged after allegedly giving dog oral sex

    World News Toronto Sun
    CLEVELAND — A man accused of performing a sex act on a dog has been charged under a new state law that criminalizes bestiality. The law went into effect March 21 and makes sexual contact with an animal a misdemeanour offence that carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail upon conviction. Source
  • This Canadian army corporal's Invictus training inspired her to revisit old dreams

    Canada News CBC News
    Kelly Scanlan had always planned for a lifetime of service. "I have police officers in my family, I have firefighters in my family and I kind of wanted to follow in that tradition when I was done with the military," the 26-year-old corporal with the Canadian infantry told CBC News Friday. Source
  • At least 21 U.S. states were targeted by election hacking

    World News CTV News
    The federal government on Friday told election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems before last year's presidential election. The notification came roughly a year after U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials first said states were targeted by hacking efforts possibly connected to Russia. Source
  • Mexicans homeless after quake rely on kindness of strangers to survive

    World News CBC News
    For 12 years, Adriana Lemos has walked up to apartment 903 of the Osa Mayor, a 14-storey apartment building in downtown Mexico City. Now, as she picks her way carefully up the stairs past piles of rubble, she fears this may be the last time she will see her home. Source
  • Suddenly homeless Mexicans rely on the kindness of strangers to survive after quake

    World News CBC News
    For 12 years, Adriana Lemos has walked up to apartment 903 of the Osa Mayor, a 14-storey apartment building in downtown Mexico City. Now, as she picks her way carefully up the stairs past piles of rubble, she fears this may be the last time she will see her home. Source
  • 'Russo-phobic hysteria' sours U.S. relationship: Russian foreign minister

    World News CTV News
    Russia's foreign minister said Friday the downturn in relations with the United States began with the Obama administration's "small-hearted" and "revengeful" actions and has plummeted further because of "Russo-phobic hysteria." Sergey Lavrov told a news conference there has been a lengthy campaign claiming Russia interfered in the U.S. Source