Fire engulfs Taiwan high-rise building, killing 9 and injuring dozens

At least nine people were killed and 44 injured after a major fire engulfed a 13-storey building in southern Taiwan in the small hours of Thursday.

The “extremely fierce” fire erupted around 3am and spread across many floors of the building, fire department officials from Kaohsiung city said. 

The cause of the fire, which is believed to have started on the first floor of the building, has not yet been confirmed.

Officials said that the fire has been put out but not before it destroyed much of the building, covering lower floors in black soot.

After the first emergency calls were received at 2.54am at the Kaohsiung city fire bureau, a total of 159 firefighters rushed to the spot.

The blaze was brought under control by 7.17 am in the morning, a local report said. Search and rescue operations to find survivors are still underway.

The 40-year-old building that caught fire housed shops on the lower floors and apartments above.

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