TAIPEI, Taiwan – At least 46 people were killed and dozens more injured after a fire broke out early Thursday at a large commercial and residential building in southern Taiwan that had deteriorated sharply in recent years, according to local officials and news reports.
At least 41 other people were treated for injuries, local fire officials said in Kaohsiung, the largest port city in Taiwan, where the fire broke out. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, says Lee Ching-hsiu, the city’s fire chief.
Surveillance images from an adjoining building showed a flash of light on the first floor, and soon the entire floor was engulfed in flames, according to local news reports. Pictures and videos circulating online showed surprised and soot-covered elderly residents being escorted out of the charred building, some on stretchers.