Rescuers seek about 120 still missing after Taiwan earthquake | News | DW | 07.02.2016
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Rescuers seek about 120 still missing after Taiwan earthquake

Rescue workers in Taiwan are continuing their search for about 120 people believed missing in a collapsed apartment tower in the southern city of Tainan. At least 23 people died in Saturday's earthquake.

Rescuers have pulled six more survivors from a collapsed apartment building in Tainan on Sunday, more than a day after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan, television stations reported.

The Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building building collapsed in Saturday's early morning earthquake; about 120 people are believed to still be trapped beneath the rubble. All but 30 are thought to be deep within the wreckage.

"We will focus our resources on the 29 who are closest to the rescuers," Tainan Mayor William Lai told reporters early Sunday. He added that the cold weather had made conditions difficult, and said it could take several hours to clear the rubble to access the area where people are believed to be trapped.

The death toll from the quake, with its epicenter in the south of the island, has risen to 23.

The quake struck at the start of the Lunar New Year holiday when many people were traveling to spend time with their families. Authorities said the collapsed building had 96 apartments and 256 registered residents, but more people were inside when it collapsed. Rescuers have already taken 240 survivors from the ruins.

Taiwan's Central News Agency reported that 484 people had been injured, but all were released from hospitals by Saturday night.

Buildings in nine other locations in the city also collapsed. Five were left tilting at alarming angles.

The country's interior minister said there would be an investigation into the construction standard of the 20-year-old Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building, to find out why it collapsed while other residential blocks withstood the quake. The building included a care center for newborn babies.

jm/cmk (AP, Reuters)

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