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14 dead in Taiwanese earthquake
06 Feb 2016 22:10
At least 14 people, including a ten-day-old girl, are dead after a powerful earthquake struck southern Taiwan.
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Most of the dead were killed when a 17-storey apartment building collapsed.
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Frantic efforts are under way to rescue people believed to be trapped inside.
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Ten of the dead were from the apartment complex, where the floors of a tower block pancaked down onto each other when the 6.4 magnitude tremor hit at around 4 am (8pm Irish time), at the start of a Lunar New Year holiday.
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The baby girl was found in her dead father's arms, according to local media reports.
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Rescuers mounted hydraulic ladders and a crane to scour the wreckage, plucking 221 survivors to safety so far, with dozens taken to hospital, a fire brigade official said.
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Elsewhere in the city of two million people, several buildings tilted at alarming angles but a fire department official said rescue efforts were now focused entirely on the apartment block.
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An 18-year-old man was found alive and conscious as darkness fell, while a 30-year-old woman, a nine-year-old girl and a young boy were also pulled from the rubble alive.
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"I was watching TV and after a sudden burst of shaking, I heard a boom. I opened my metal door and saw the building opposite fall down," said a 71-year-old neighbor.
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A plumber, he said he fetched some tools and a ladder and prised some window bars open to rescue a woman crying for help.
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"She asked me to go back and rescue her husband, child, but I was afraid of a gas explosion so I didn't go in. At the time there were more people calling for help, but my ladder wasn't long enough so there was no way to save them."
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