taiwan earthquake.jpg
Photograph: EPA/MILITARY NEWS AGENCY

The confirmed death toll reached 108 people from the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that hit southern Taiwan a week ago, authorities said Saturday.

Most of the victims having perished in an apartment building that collapsed in the southern city of Tainan.

At least 106 people died and another 550 people were injured when the 17-storey Weiguan Jinlong building collapsed, the Central Emergency Operation Centre said Saturday morning.

Nine people remained missing and were believed to be trapped in the rubble, the centre said.

Search-and-rescue teams Friday finished clearing away most of the above-ground levels of the collapsed complex and started work on the underground areas.

Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te said Saturday the teams would continue to search for those still missing, state-run Central News Agency reported.

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

Tainan City Government Friday sought provisional seizure of 30 million Taiwan dollars (910,000 US dollars) from the developers for some survivors, the agency reported.

Lai said late Friday that the local government was likely to take further measures after receiving more requests from survivors and victims’ families.

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