A building fire in Taiwan has killed 46 people and injured dozens more.
Officials say a fire ripped through a building in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung late on Thursday, killing 46 people and injuring dozens more.
According to officials, the fire broke out in the 13-story mixed-use building in the early hours of Thursday morning, blazing across numerous floors before firemen were able to put it out.
In a statement to reporters, Kaohsiung’s fire department stated the fire resulted in 41 injuries and 46 deaths.
Smoke billowed from the building’s windows, as firefighters feverishly battled to extinguish the flames with extension hoses, according to photos released by Taiwan’s official Central News Agency.
The fire service of the city said it dispatched more than 70 trucks to fight the incident.
The entire scope of the fire became obvious as dawn broke, with every storey of the building visibly burned.
According to fire officials, the majority of the casualties occurred on levels seven through eleven, which housed residential flats.
The first five levels were intended for commercial usage, but they were empty.
The building was 40 years old, according to a constable with the Kaohsiung police department, and was largely populated by low-income residents.
Survivors estimated that roughly 100 individuals lived in the apartment, according to the constable, who only gave his surname Liu.
Officials had not ruled out the possibility of arson, he added. There were forensics teams on the scene, and more searches of the premises were scheduled before dark.
Taiwan has tight building rules and a generally solid safety record as an island frequently pummeled by earthquakes and typhoons.
However, older structures still represent a threat.
When older structures collapsed in recent earthquakes, some of the largest death tolls occurred, with subsequent investigations revealing that their designs were not up to code.