Seven dead, hundreds injured after quake flattens buildings in Taiwan

Updated: 2016-02-06 14:27


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Seven dead, hundreds injured after quake flattens buildings in Taiwan

A 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit Kaohsiung of Taiwan at a depth of 15 kilometers at 03:57 am Beijing Time on Saturday. [Photo/Weibo]

What survivors say

The epicenter was monitored at 22.94 degrees north latitude and 120.54 degrees east longitude and the quake happened at a depth of 15 kilometers, according to China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).

"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 neighbour who gave his name as Chang.

A plumber, he said he fetched some tools and a ladder and prised some window bars open to rescue a woman crying for help.

"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."

One elderly woman, wrapped in blankets, was strapped to a board and slowly slid down a ramp to the ground as the cries of those still trapped rang out. Rescuers used dogs and acoustic equipment to pick up signs of life in the rubble.  

"There are 60 households in that building," said Tainan fire department information officer Lee Po Min, estimating that there might be about 240 people living there.

One city hospital said 58 people had been brought in, most of them with light injuries. The fire department said a total of 115 people had been taken to hospital from around Tainan.