Fire in Southern Taiwan residential building kills at least 46

Fire in Southern Taiwan residential building kills at least 46

Fire in Southern Taiwan residential building kills at least 46

The 13-story building caught fire around 3 a.m. Thursday, fire officials in the city of Kaohsiung said. A fire department statement said the blaze was “extremely fierce” and destroyed many floors.

The death toll from a fire in southern Taiwan that engulfed a building overnight has risen to 46 killed, according to local officials. Officials said 55 people had been taken to the hospital. In Taiwan, official confirmation of a death can only be made in the hospital.

Firefighters were conducting search and rescue efforts into the afternoon. The blaze was “extremely fierce,” and destroyed many floors of the building, according to a statement from the fire department.

More than 100 residents, many of them senior citizens with physical disabilities, live in the building. It is unclear what caused the fire. Local police are reviewing surveillance footage and said they cannot rule out human factors, according to a report.