Sunday 11 December 2016

115 bodies pulled from Taiwan earthquake rubble

Published 13/02/2016 | 08:40

Monks pray for the dead and survivors of a powerful earthquake that hit Tainan, southern Taiwan last week, on the 5th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, at Guangji Temple, in Beijing, China, February 12, 2016. REUTERS/China Daily
Monks pray for the dead and survivors of a powerful earthquake that hit Tainan, southern Taiwan last week, on the 5th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, at Guangji Temple, in Beijing, China, February 12, 2016. REUTERS/China Daily
Rescue personnel work at a damaged building after an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, in this February 6, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Stringer/Files
Rescue personnel work at a damaged building after an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, in this February 6, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang/Files
Rescue teams stand by as heavy excavation machinery continues to dig through the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Johnson Lai)
A member of rescue teams stands by as heavy excavation machinery continues to dig through the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Johnson Lai)
Rescue teams continue to use heavy excavation machinery to dig through the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Johnson Lai)
Rescue workers using excavators continue to search the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Annie Ho)
Rescue workers using excavators continue to search the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Annie Ho)
Rescue workers using excavators continue to search the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Annie Ho)
Rescue workers using excavators continue to search the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016.(AP Photo/Annie Ho)

Rescuers have pulled out 115 bodies in the week since a powerful earthquake struck Taiwan's oldest city of Tainan, leaving only two missing in the rubble of a collapsed 17-storey residential complex.

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All but two of the dead were found in the ruins of the Weiguan Golden Dragon complex, which toppled when the 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck last Saturday just ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

A total of 327 people in the building survived.

According to Taiwan's Interior Ministry, workers recovered scores more bodies on Friday and Saturday, but two are still listed as missing.

Rescue personnel work at a damaged building after an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, in this February 6, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang/Files
Rescue personnel work at a damaged building after an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, in this February 6, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang/Files

Authorities detained the building's developer Lin Ming-hui and two architects this week on suspicion of negligent homicide amid accusations his firm cut corners in the construction.

Tainan city officials said they will inspect several dozen other developments built by Lin, as well as other buildings in the Weiguan compound that did not collapse.

Rescue teams continue to use heavy excavation machinery to dig through the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Johnson Lai)
Rescue teams continue to use heavy excavation machinery to dig through the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Johnson Lai)

Earthquakes frequently strike Taiwan, but usually cause little or no damage, particularly since more stringent building regulations were introduced following a magnitude-7.6 quake in 1999 that killed more than 2,300.

Rescue workers using excavators continue to search the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Annie Ho)
Rescue workers using excavators continue to search the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Annie Ho)
Rescue workers using excavators continue to search the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Annie Ho)
Rescue workers using excavators continue to search the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Annie Ho)

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