• Taiwan Building Fire Leaves At Least 20 Dead
A fire ripped through a 13-story building in Taiwan. (Photo: AFP-Yonhap)


[Anchor]

At least 20 people have died in a fire in a 13-story building in southern Taiwan.

With rescue efforts continuing, some officials said the death toll could surpass 40.

The BBC's Michael Bristow reports.

[Reporter]

The fire broke out in the middle of the night.

Some heard loud explosions.

It took firefighters four hours to bring it under control.

Residents, some of them old and some with disabilities, were trapped in their homes in the upper part of the 13-story building.

The lower section used to house restaurants, karaoke bars and a cinema.

But they long since been abandoned,

Firefighters said piles of unused items blocked access to the building, making the rescue operation more difficult.




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