developer arrested after deadly quake fells building
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[February 09, 2016]
TAINAN, Taiwan (Reuters) -
Prosecutors in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan have arrested the
developer of a building which collapsed during an earthquake on Saturday
killing at least 39 people, officials said on Tuesday, as rescue efforts
increasingly turned to recovery.
The quake struck at about 4 a.m. on Saturday (3.00 p.m. ET on
Friday) at the beginning of the Lunar New Year holiday, with almost
all the dead found in Tainan's toppled Wei-guan Golden Dragon
Building. Two people died elsewhere in the city.
Rescue work has focused on the wreckage of the 17-storey building,
where more than 100 people are listed as missing and are suspected
to be buried deep under the rubble.
No survivors have been brought out since Monday evening.
Questions have been raised about the building's construction
quality, especially materials used to build it.
Hsiao Po-jen, director of the legal affairs department of the Tainan
city government, told Reuters that Lin Ming-hui, the Wei-guan Golden
Dragon Building's developer, had been arrested on suspicion of
negligent homicide on Monday evening.
Hsiao said the information came from police and prosecutors.
Reuters witnesses at the scene of the collapse have seen large
rectangular, commercial cans of cooking-oil packed inside wall
cavities exposed by the damage, apparently having been used as
Taiwan media has also reported the presence of polystyrene in
supporting beams, mixed in with concrete.
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The Wei-guan, completed in 1994, was the only major high-rise
building in the city of two million people to have completely
Its lower storeys, filled with arcades of shops, pancaked on top of
each other before the entire U-shaped complex toppled in on itself.
Deputy Tainan Mayor Tseng Shu-cheng told family members that 103
people were still missing in the rubble.
(Reporting by J.R. Wu, and Faith Hung in TAIPEI; Writing by Ben
Blanchard; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Nick Macfie)
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