An investigation has been launched on the construction of the apartment building which was toppled down by the Saturday earthquake in Taiwan. Thirty two people died in the earthquake, most of them were the residing in the Weiguan Jinlong building in Tainan City.
The Tainan’s government confirmed that the building had got its construction permit legally, reported Mail Online. The video footages of the rubble show that commercial cans of cooking-oil were packed in its concrete walls.
This was the same problem encounteres in the rubble of 1999 earthquake in some other parts of Taiwan. William Lai, the Tainan Mayor assured his constituent that, “when it’s completed, we’ll punish those who should be held accountable.”
Mayor Lai said, “I’ve contacted judicial units and prosecutors have formally launched an investigation. We’ve also commissioned three independent bodies to preserve evidence during the rescue so we can assist the residents if they want to file lawsuits in the future. We will hold the builder responsible if they have broken the law”.
He also added that 126 residents are still missing and that 103 of them were trapped deep inside the rubbles. He further stated that the emergency workers needed to ensure their safety before digging.
Census record suggest that the apartment complex crumpled by 6.4 magnitude earth quake had 260 residents, but later it was found that more than 300 were inside at the time of the earthquake. It was because some students were staying in rented rooms in the apartment and people might also have guests to celebrate the Lunar New Year, according to BBC report.
The report stated that hundreds of soldiers were involved in the rescue efforts and had used hi-tech equipment, sniffer-dogs and cranes.
Meanwhile, Wu Chong-rong, chief of Tainan Public Works Bureau said about the construction, “In the city government’s record, there was nothing wrong with it.”
Hsu Yin-hsuan an architect hired by the Tainan Government to investigate the matter said that after the 1999 disaster the government had invested money to strengthen official buildings. However, the same was not done in the case of private constructions.