Monday 27 March 2017

Minute's silence as last Taiwan earthquake bodies removed from rubble

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)

Press Association

Rescuers have removed the remains of the final victims of the Taiwan earthquake and, with a minute's silence, ended the search with the final death toll standing at 116.

Rescuers have removed the remains of the final victims of the Taiwan earthquake and, with a minute's silence, ended the search with the final death toll standing at 116.

All but two of the dead came from the 17-storey Weiguan Golden Dragon residential complex, which toppled when the magnitude-6.4 quake struck the city of Tainan on February 6.

Tainan mayor Lai Ching-te bowed deeply and thanked the rescuers for their work, then ordered a minute of silence for the victims.

A total of 270 people in the building survived, including 95 who were evacuated and 175 who were pulled out from the rubble, according to the latest figures.

Authorities believe one last person unaccounted for was homeless and not in the residential compound at the time of the quake. Police have reclassified the person's status as missing.

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/Stringer/Files
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 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 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)
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 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)
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)
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)

The building's developer, Lin Ming-hui, and two architects have been detained on suspicion of negligent homicide following accusations that the company cut corners in the construction.

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 people.

Press Association

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