Developer detained, dog rescued in Taiwan apartment collapse

TAINAN, Taiwan -- Three Taiwanese construction company executives were detained on charges of professional negligence resulting in death following the collapse of an apartment building that killed dozens, prosecutors said Wednesday.

See Full Article

While no more survivors have been found since Monday night, a 7-year-old white Maltese dog was pulled from the rubble after being trapped since the building collapsed early Saturday during a magnitude-6.4 earthquake.

The dog named "Le Le," or "Happy" in English, appeared to be in shock and deep distress as it waited to be claimed at a temporary shelter. Le Le's owner, 50-year-old Lin Shiu-chu, had been rescued earlier and hospitalized with broken arms and fractured ribs.

Lin's cousin, who arrived with Lin's sister to pick up the dog, thanked rescuers "for saving all lives."

"Dogs' lives also need to be cherished," said Lin Chia-yu, 23.

The death toll from the quake in the southern city of Tainan stood at 46 on Wednesday, with all but two of the deaths coming in the building collapse. Another 94 people, including 21 children, are still believed trapped in the debris, the Tainan city government said.

The city's district prosecutor's office said in a statement Wednesday that Lin Ming-hui and architects Chang Kui-an and Cheng Chin-kui were being held on suspicion of having overseen shoddy construction of the 17-story Weiguan Golden Dragon building, which crashed onto its side in the earthquake.

The statement said the three were detained to prevent collusion or other acts that could disrupt the investigation. Among the accusations was that only half as many fasteners had been used in the supporting columns as required.

Broadcaster FTV and other Taiwanese media said Lin had changed his name after a previous bankruptcy and had run multiple property development companies in Tainan in an apparent attempt to avoid creditors and bilked clients.

Although the shallow quake was potentially devastating, few buildings were damaged as a result of strict construction standards in force in Taiwan, an island frequently struck by quakes. The Weiguan Golden Dragon building, built in 1989, was the only major structure to collapse.

Most of the 320 people who were rescued from the disaster were saved in the hours immediately after the quake, in which the building's foundation and lower floors gave way before it toppled onto its side.

Most earthquakes in Taiwan are minor and cause little or no damage, but a magnitude-7.6 quake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people. More stringent building standards were introduced following that disaster and appear to have been tightly enforced.

The quake struck during the most important family holiday in the Chinese calendar, the Lunar New Year. Celebrations of the holiday in Taiwan have been subdued.

Associated Press videojournalists Tassanee Vejpongsa and Johnson Lai in Taipei, Taiwan, and writer Christopher Bodeen and news assistant Henry Hou in Beijing contributed to this report


Latest Canada & World News

  • Former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice Beverley McLachlin to be judge in Hong Kong

    World News CBC News
    Hong Kong's top court has appointed former Supreme Court chief justice Beverley McLachlin to sit as a non-permanent common-law judge on the Court of Final Appeal. McLachlin, who recently retired from Canada's Supreme Court, will take up her new role once her appointment is endorsed by the Legislative Council, an elected body in Hong Kong that functions as a parliament or legislature. Source
  • 'This Wild West era's got to end': Facebook breach energizes UK lawmakers

    World News CBC News
    It is delicious irony that to uncover some of our worst fears about online data privacy and misinformation, it took old-fashioned journalists — the venerated British press — and an equally old-school method of whistleblowing. It's not for others' lack of trying. Source
  • Peru's president offers resignation amid political turmoil

    World News CBC News
    Embattled Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski offered his resignation Wednesday ahead of an impeachment vote, seeking to put an end to a fast-moving political drama playing out just three weeks before the Andean nation is set to host U.S. Source
  • Icy waterfall rescue nets man on date a bravery medal, couple now engaged

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- A hiking date for a Vancouver Island couple turned into a life-saving rescue that earned Janson Chapman a bravery medal and now a lifetime partner. Chapman, a golf course greens keeper from Colwood, was one of 46 people honoured today with medals of service by Gov. Source
  • Montreal man accused in U.S. airport stabbing faces new terrorism charge

    Canada News CTV News
    FLINT, Mich. -- U.S. federal prosecutors have added a terrorism charge to the case of a Montreal man who is accused of stabbing a police officer at a Michigan airport in June. Amor Ftouhi, a native of Tunisia, has been charged with stabbing an officer in the neck at Flint's Bishop International Airport while yelling "Allahu Akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great. Source
  • Parents turn to GPS tracking devices after Montreal boy disappears

    Canada News CTV News
    Montreal police have received more than 700 tips about a missing boy who vanished nine days ago, but investigators still don’t know what happened to the child. Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou disappeared on March 12 after walking to a friend’s house. Source
  • Montreal man accused in Michigan airport stabbing faces new terrorism charge in U.S.

    Canada News CBC News
    U.S. federal prosecutors have added a terrorism charge to the case of a Montreal man who is accused of stabbing a police officer at a Flint, Michigan airport last June. Amor Ftouhi is a native of Tunisia. Source
  • Halifax nun is a karate brown belt, Harry Potter fan

    Canada News CTV News
    When you think of a nun, you generally think of a quiet, reserved woman with a strict life, and certainly not someone with a brown belt in karate. But with nearly 20 years of martial arts experience behind her, Sister Gemma MacLeod with the Franciscans of Halifax in the city’s West End is exactly the nun you didn’t know existed. Source
  • Former chief justice Beverley McLachlin expected to join Hong Kong court

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA - Former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice Beverley McLachlin is slated to become a jurist in Hong Kong next year. The recently retired McLachlin has been nominated to sit on the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, which routinely invites judges from other common law jurisdictions to be non-permanent members. Source
  • Former French president Sarkozy charged over alleged Libyan campaign money

    World News CBC News
    Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was handed preliminary charges Tuesday over allegations he accepted millions of euros in illegal campaign funding from the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. A judicial official told The Associated Press that investigative judges overseeing the probe gave the ex-president charges of illegally funding his 2007 winning campaign, passive corruption and receiving money from Libyan embezzlement. Source