Taiwan skyscraper fire kills at least 46, injures dozens

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At least 46 people were killed in a fire overnight Wednesday in a high-rise building in southern Taiwan and dozens more were injured, local officials said Thursday.

The “extremely fierce” fire started around 3 am Thursday, engulfing the entire building in Kaohsiung City and destroying many floors. Witnesses said they heard an explosion around the same time.

In this image from a Taiwan EBC video, fire and smoke billow from a building in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, on Thursday, October 14, 2021. The fire engulfed a building in 13 stories overnight in southern Taiwan, half the island.  the official central news agency reported on Thursday.  (EBC via AP)
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In this image from a Taiwan EBC video, fire and smoke billow from a building in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, on Thursday, October 14, 2021. The fire engulfed a building in 13 stories overnight in southern Taiwan, half the island. the official central news agency reported on Thursday. (EBC via AP)
(EBC via AP)

Orange flames lit up the night sky as firefighters scrambled to reduce the blaze, leaving the building to smolder a few hours later.

At least 11 bodies were sent directly to the morgue, Fire Chief Li Ching-hsiu told reporters at the scene. Another 14 people who showed no signs of life were among the 55 taken to hospital. In Taiwan, official confirmation of a death can only be made in hospital.

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The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The building is about 40 years old.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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