The cause of the fire, which is believed to have started on the first floor of the building, has not yet been confirmed
Au moins 14 people were killed and 51 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.
Locals said they heard a loud explosion in the middle of the night and woke up to see the building on fire.
At least nine of the total killed in the fire did not show any vital signs after firefighters found them, fire bureau chief Lee Ching-hsiu said, selon un local report.
The cause of the fire, which is believed to have started on the first floor of the building, has not yet been confirmed. The death toll is expected to rise with many more trapped in the fire-ravaged building, les fonctionnaires ont dit.
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 call was 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 7.17am in the morning. Search and rescue operations to find survivors are still underway.
The 40-year-old building that caught fire served as a commercial and residential space, housing shops on the lower floors and apartments on the others. There are reportedly nearly 120 housing units between the seventh and 11th floors.