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International

Search for Taiwan quake victims ends with death toll at 116

11:35, Sunday, 14 February, 2016
Search for Taiwan quake victims ends with death toll at 116

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck southern Taiwan on Feb. 6 rose to 116 on Saturday as rescue workers ended their search for bodies buried under rubble of a collapsed apartment complex where all but two of the fatalities were found.

Tainan Mayor William Lai declared the search over, with authorities saying it is uncertain whether one person still listed as missing was in the 16-story Weiguan Jinlong complex when the magnitude 6.4 quake struck.

Apart from the complex, a block of nearly 300 units from where more than 200 people were rescued, the quake also toppled other buildings the city of some 1.9 million people and left yet others tilting noticeably.

Prosecutors have detained three former executives of a now-defunct company, who were involved in the construction of the complex, on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in death.

They suspect that shoddy construction work may be behind the collapse, as empty tin cans were found packed inside the concrete walls of the 23-year-old building.

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