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Prosecutors seek developer's detention after Taiwan collapse
by Staff Writers
Tainan, Taiwan (AFP) Feb 9, 2016

Prosecutors in Taiwan were Tuesday seeking to detain the developer of a 16-storey apartment complex toppled by a deadly quake, officials said Tuesday, amid suspicions of shoddy construction.

Around 40 people are confirmed dead and some 100 are still missing in the ruins after the collapse of the Wei-kuan building.

It was the only high-rise in the southern city of Tainan to crumble completely when the 6.4 magnitude quake struck before dawn Saturday.

Prosecutors have launched an investigation into the disaster after photos showed cans and foam had been used to fill parts of the complex's concrete framework.

The developer, identified as Lin Ming-hui, and two of his employees were taken to the prosecutors' office in Tainan early Tuesday, said a police officer from the local prosecutors' office.

"The three people were escorted to the Tainan district court for questioning," the officer told AFP. Local media said prosecutors are seeking the detention of the three at a court session underway Tuesday evening.

Kuo Chen-hsiu, a spokeswoman for Tainan district court, confirmed a hearing was being held to decide whether to take Lin and two employees into custody.

More than 210 people have been rescued from the building. But the city government and rescuers estimate more than 100 others could still be buried in the rubble.

Miraculous quake survivors
Paris (AFP) Feb 9, 2016 - Rescue workers are racing against time to locate survivors in the debris of a Taiwanese apartment complex, hoping for the kind of miracle that has happened in the past.

Some 100 people might still be buried in the rubble of a 16-storey building in Tainan, southern Taiwan, which collapsed on Saturday when a 6.4 magnitude quake struck the area.

Here is a recap of previous rescues by earthquake responders once the 72-hour "golden window" for finding survivors had passed.

- In PAKISTAN, two months after an earthquake devastated the region on October 8, 2005, a woman aged 40 was pulled alive from the the rubble of her house in Kashmir, on December 12. She survived by drinking rain water and eating rotting food.

A six-year-old girl had already been rescued there on October 17 after surviving for nine days under a cupboard.

- In HAITI, a young girl of 16 was pulled alive from ruins having survived 15 days buried after an earthquake on January 12, 2010.

A man aged 25 had already been found 11 days after that quake, and doctors in Port-au-Prince later said they had treated a man who said he had survived 27 days after being buried when the quake hit.

- In the PHILIPPINES, three people were pulled alive from a collapsed hotel two weeks after an earthquake on July 16, 1990 in Baguio, north of Manila. Trickling water was credited with saving their lives.

- In IRAN, a 56-year-old man spent 13 days in debris after a quake hit Bam, in the southeast, on December 26, 2003. A woman aged 97 had already been rescued eight days after the quake struck.

- In western INDIA, 10 days after an earthquake hit Gujarat on January 26, 2001, two people were pulled from the rubble of their house. Five or six days after the quake hit, rescue workers had already found several other survivors, including a woman aged 102, and a one-year-old infant.

- In MEXICO, two infants in their cribs were rescued nine days after an earthquake hit on September 19, 1985.

- In JAPAN, a disabled woman, 80, and her 16-year-old grandson were rescued nine days after an earthquake on March 11, 2011. They were in the kitchen when the quake hit, and ate yoghurt from the refrigerator.

- In CHINA, a woman was saved nine days after being stuck in a tunnel under a waterworks in the town of Hongbai, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, hit by a quake on May 12, 2008.

- In northwestern TURKEY, six days after an earthquake struck on August 17, 1999, a three-year-old child was pulled from the rubble.

- In NEPAL, a 15-year-old boy was pulled from the debris of his boarding school in Katmandu, five days after a quake struck on April 25, 2015.

A few hours later, rescue workers also found a woman in her 30s.

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