At least 18 people have been killed in southern Taiwan, after 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck early on Saturday.
Fifteen of the dead, including a 10-day-old girl, were in the Wei-guan Golden Dragon apartment building in the city of Tainan. The building completely collapsed.
Rescue workers used hydraulic ladders and a crane to scour the ruins of the apartment block. They helped 220 survivors to get out, with dozens of people taken to hospital, according to a fire brigade official.
Rescue efforts were continuing at the Wei-guan Golden Dragon as evening fell on Saturday, with several people still believed to be missing.
Questions were being raised about the safety of the building. City officials said it was too soon to determine whether poor construction had been a factor in the collapse.
[THE LATEST PICTURES]A powerful earthquake has toppled a 17-storey apartment block in southern Taiwan, killing at least five people, including a 10-year-old girl. It triggered frantic efforts to rescue about 35 people feared trapped inside. (photos: REUTERS)Posted by euronews on Saturday, 6 February 2016
Guo, a mother of two, was rescued from the block. “Rescue workers broke through (the building) layer by layer. And they asked us to climb out, but I said ‘my children are too small to climb.’ So they dug a bigger hole,” she told reporters.
Buildings in nine other locations in the city of 2 million people had collapsed and five were left tilting at alarming angles, a government emergency centre said.