TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A fire broke out early this morning (Aug 13) in a nursing home in New Taipei's Xinzhuang District killing nine and injuring 16, reported CNA.
The New Taipei Fire Department reports that a fire broke out on the seventh floor of the Taipei Hospital in the senior care center at 4:36 a.m. The Fire Department quickly dispatched 79 vehicles of various types and 243 firefighters to the scene and by 5:27 a.m., the fire had been extinguished.
Firefighters said there were a total of 32 patients, two caregivers, one nurse and eight migrant workers on the seventh floor nursing home. The fire, which engulfed an areas of about 10 pings (a ping equals 3.3 square meters), was believed to have started in Ward 7A23, where four patients and one migrant worker were staying.
Location of blaze on seventh floor. (CNA image)
When firefighters arrived on the scene, a total of 16 people were not showing vital signs, including eight men and eight women. In addition, there were three people severely injured (one male and two females), six people with minor injuries (four males and one female).
Of a total of 25 patients who were sent to eight nearby hospitals for treatment, nine have been declared dead, seven who were unresponsive were revived by medical staff, 10 have suffered serious injuries and six sustained minor injuries.
Firefighters on the scene. (CNA image)
After reviewing surveillance camera footage, police found that the fire in the ward did not have the required smoke exhaust equipment, but when the blaze started, the sprinklers did activate.
Police said that the four patients and one foreign worker who were in Ward 7A23 were rescued during the fire, but the door was not closed after they were evacuated, leading smoke to spread to other sections of the hospital.
Patients evacuated to lobby. (CNA image)
The exact cause of the blaze is currently under investigation. Police have been dispatched to the area to redirect traffic as the cleanup effort begins.
Charred stairwell. (CNA image)