Taiwan earthquake: Authorities arrest collapsed building's developers
Three former executives of the company that built a 17-story apartment building that collapsed during the Taiwan earthquake have been arrested by authorities over allegations of shoddy building practices. Chief executive Lin Ming-hui and two associates were reportedly taken into custody after investigations. The executives belonged to the now defunct Weiguan company and were arrested on charges of professional negligence.
Taiwan or Republic of China is an island nation located 180 km east of China. With a populaiton of 23.5 million, it is one of the most densely populated countries with a population density of 649 persons per sq km. People's Republic of China (China) claims Taiwan to be their 23rd province; however, Taiwan maintains that they are 2 separate political entities.
Taiwan prone to earthquakes
Taiwan is located on the highly earthquake prone Pacific 'Ring of Fire' and had witnessed a massive 7.3 magnitude earthquake in 1999 which killed around 2400 people.
6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Taiwan
According to the US Geological Survey, a 6.4 magnitude shallow earthquake hit Taiwan at 4 a.m. local time some 48 km from Tainan in Taiwan. The earthquake was shallow, about 10 km below the surface which has amplified its impact. Atleast 3 people have been reported dead and 150 have been injured in Tainan. The rescue operations are going on in full swing.
150 people hospitalised in Tainan
Atleast 150 people have been hospitalized in Tainan, located 48 km from the epicenter on the western coast. A 17-storied residential building having 60 apartments has collapsed from which 221 people have been rescued and many more are still struck inside. Several other buildings have collapsed or damaged, high speed trains were cancelled and a large part of the city is facing black out.
Rescue operations in full swing
Search and rescue operations are going on and firefighters have been rushed to the site. People are being evacuated from the tilted buildings. 1500 people are engaged in the rescue operations and Taiwan's national army has also been called in. Last reports stated that Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou is already on the way to Tainan where the damage has been maximum.
China offers help
According to the Chinese state run media, People's Republic of China or China has offered assistance to the earthquake hit Taiwan. Taiwan is considered as a "renegade province" of China.
Officials begin investigations into collapsed building
Officials have begun investigations into the construction of the apartment complex in Taiwan which collapsed during the earthquake. Most of the 34 people who died had been inside the building in Tainan City. Officials added that so far, 310 people had been rescued, with 100 of them taken to hospital. Nearly 500 people in total were injured and 121 were still unaccounted for.