Search at Collapsed Taiwan Building Ends; Death Toll Hits 116

TAIPEI, Taiwan (dpa/TNS) —
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, rescuers search for survivors at a quake site in Tainan, Taiwan Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (Zhang Guojun/Xinhua via AP)
Rescuers search for survivors at a quake site in Tainan, Taiwan, Feb. 6. (Zhang Guojun/Xinhua via AP)

Rescue efforts at a 17-story building that collapsed in a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in southern Taiwan last week ended Saturday, with the quake’s overall death toll reaching at least 116.

At least one person remains missing, authorities said.

Most of the deaths — 114 — came when the Weiguan Jinlong building collapsed Feb. 6, the Central Emergency Operation Center said Saturday evening. Another 550 people were injured in the collapse.

The missing person was identified by the surname of Lin by Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te as he announced the end of the search at the building site.

According to Lai, Lin — who has been diagnosed with mental disorders — is not a registered resident of the collapsed building, but was seen there hours before the disaster occurred. However, rescue teams have not found any trace of her at the site.

Lin’s family had lost contact with her since the earthquake, Lai said. City officials have added her to the missing persons list.

Officials said 32 victims, including six children, found at the building site remained unidentified.

The city government said Saturday that 123 buildings in Tainan were seriously damaged by the earthquake. Those buildings will have to be either reinforced or torn down, the state-run Central News Agency reported.

Three former executives of the company that developed the complex were arrested Tuesday on suspicion that the building did not meet safety standards.


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