At least 46 dead as fire traps residents in tower block: 'All gone'

·News Reporter
·1-min read

At least 46 people have died after a fire ripped through a 13-storey residential building in southern Taiwan.

Horrifying video shows the entire building engulfed in flames in the middle of the night as firefighters desperately try to extinguish the blaze in the city of Kaohsiung.

Witnesses say they heard "screams" coming from the building with reports residents were trapped between the seventh and 11th floors.

Two firefighters work at the base of the building. Source: Reuters
Two firefighters work at the base of the building. Source: Reuters

Kaohsiung authorities told reporters 60 people were also hospitalised however the BBC reported that number has since risen to 79. Fourteen of those are in a serious condition.

Rescue personnel could be seen carrying away residents, many in oxygen masks, on stretchers early Thursday morning (local time).

According to Taiwan's Central News Agency, the 40-year-old building includes around 120 households on 13 floors, at least five of which are empty. 

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire after several hours.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and investigations have commenced.

The buildings lower floors are appear completely destroyed by the fire. Source: Reuters
The buildings lower floors are appear completely destroyed by the fire. Source: Reuters

"I feel quite sad," said a former resident of the buidling, Li Wen-Hsiang. 

"It’s all gone, this building has been here for more than 30 years."

With Reuters

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