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Taiwan earthquake: Woman and man rescued from collapsed building

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Taiwan earthquake: Woman and man rescued from collapsed building
February 08
14:46 2016

Two people have been pulled alive from the ruins of an apartment building two days after it collapsed in a powerful earthquake in Tainan City in Taiwan.

The first was a woman who was officials said was found lying underneath the body of her husband. Their two-year-old son was found dead nearby.

Shortly later, a man was also rescued alive, local media reported.

At least 35 people died in the magnitude 6.4 quake, most of whom were inside the Weiguan Jinlong building.

More than 100 people are still thought to be trapped inside.

Almost all the people who died were inside the Weiguan Jinlong apartment complex

The woman, Tsao Wei-ling, was rescued on Monday morning, local MP Wang Ting-yu was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. She was conscious and was taken to hospital.

Rescuers said it appeared her husband’s body had protected her from a falling beam.

The man had been talking to rescuers throughout the night. He was pulled free just before midday local time.

Officials said late on Sunday that 310 people had been rescued from the rubble of the building, with 100 of them taken to hospital.

A six-month-old baby girl pulled alive from the rubble died a few hours later in hospital.

The 17 storeys of the Weiguan Jinlong (Golden Dragon) apartment complex crumpled as the quake struck just before 04:00 local time on Saturday (20:00 GMT Friday), as Taiwan was beginning the lunar new year holiday

An investigation has been launched into whether the construction of the building contributed to its collapse.

Tainan City Mayor William Lai said survivors had reported legal “violations” in its construction but gave no further details.

Mr Lai said he had contacted judicial units and that prosecutors had formally launched an investigation into the construction of the apartment building.

“We’ve also commissioned three independent bodies to preserve evidence during the rescue so we can assist the residents if they want to file lawsuits in the future,” he said.

“We will hold the builder responsible if they have broken the law.”

The earthquake was shallow, according US geographers, which would have amplified its effects

Hundreds of soldiers are involved in the rescue effort, with the help of high-tech equipment, sniffer dogs and cranes. Shelters are being set up for those who have lost their homes in the city of two million people.

President Ma Ying-jeou and President-elect Tsai Ing-wen, who won the election last month, are both due to visit the site of the disaster later on Monday.

Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and often sees tremors.

The quake was shallow, meaning its effects would have been amplified, the US Geological Survey said.

There were also at least five aftershocks. The quake was felt in the capital Taipei, 300km (186 miles) away.

Source: BBC



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