[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Taiwan hospital blaze leaves many dead
At least 12 bed-bound patients killed and scores injured after fire sweeps through nursing facility in Tainan city.
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012 05:22
The fire gutted a nursing facility housing mainly bed-bound senior patients in the southern city of Tainan [AFP]

A fire has swept through a hospital in southern Taiwan, killing at least 12 people and leaving 60 others injured, health authorities say.

Tuesday's blaze started in the early hours at Sinying Hospital's nursing facility housing mainly bed-bound senior patients in the southern city of Tainan, health officials said.

Tsai Ming-shih, who works for Sinying Hospital, said the 12 patients, who were housed on the second floor, died of smoke inhalation.

A fire official told reporters that the blaze possibly started in a storage room of the five-floor building, part of the Sinying Hospital.

More than 100 patients were evacuated during the incident, a local health official said.

An earlier estimate by an official had placed the number of injured at 72, but this was revised down in a health department statement.

TVBS cable news channel reported that relatives of the patients rushed to the hospital seeking their whereabouts as health minister Chiu Wen-ta assured the public that the authorities would identify the patients as soon as possible.

Television footage showed bed and wheelchair-bound patients being carried out from the burnt-out second floor to the hospital's lawn.

It was the worst hospital fire in recent years and the cause of the fire is under investigation, officials said.

Sean Chen, the Taiwanese prime minister, expressed his shock at the incident and sent his condolences to the families of the victims, his office said in a statement.

231

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.