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114 bodies pulled from toppled Taiwan building; 1 missing

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Relatives, religious leaders and government officials attend a memorial for the victims of the collapsed building complex caused by an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. The 16-story Weiguan Golden Dragon complex was the only building to collapse during Saturday’s magnitude-6.4 earthquake, which otherwise caused limited damage in the southern city of Tainan.

TAIPEI, Taiwan >> Workers have pulled out 114 bodies from the rubble of a high-rise apartment building that collapsed in an earthquake in Taiwan’s oldest city, leaving only one missing, authorities said Saturday, a week after the disaster.

All but two of the 116 bodies recovered in Tainan after the magnitude-6.4 quake struck the city on Feb. 6 were found in the ruins of the Weiguan Golden Dragon building. A total of 327 people in the 17-story building survived.

According to Taiwan’s Interior Ministry, workers extracted more than 60 more bodies on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. One person is still unaccounted for, local authorities said Saturday.

Authorities have detained the building’s developer, Lin Ming-hui, and two architects on suspicion of negligent homicide amid accusations that Lin’s company cut corners in the building’s construction.

Tainan city officials said they will inspect several dozen other developments built by Lin, as well as other buildings in the Weiguan compound that did not collapse.

Earthquakes frequently strike Taiwan, but usually cause little or no damage, particularly since more stringent building regulations were introduced following a magnitude-7.6 quake in 1999 that killed more than 2,300 people.

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