The Taipei City Fire Department said the fire alarm and the automatic sprinkler system had been turned off when the accident took place, and the fire should be treated as a serious case of human negligence. The authorities suspected that the fire may have been related to the elevator construction on the fifth floor, but said it has not been confirmed.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A fire that erupted Sunday morning (April 26) at the Cashbox Partyworld KTV bar on Linsen North Road of Zhongshan District has taken five lives and injured 50 individuals, including two who are currently in critical condition after being found OHCA.
At 10:59 a.m. Sunday, a fire raged through a 14-story building in which the karaoke bar is located. Several customers at the KTV were waving at the firefighters from their windows before being rescued from the smoke and flame.
The fire was put out at around 11:30 a.m., according to the Taipei City Fire Department. 55 individuals, including seven who had showed no signs of breathing, were injured and have been transported to National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH), MacKay Memorial Hospital, and Shin Kong Hospital. Out of the seven OHCA patients, five were unable to recover while the other two are still being treated in the emergency rooms.
According to CNA, the first nine floors of the building belongs to Cashbox Partyworld, and all customers have been successfully rescued, while five staff members still have not. A total of 179 firefighters and medical staffers, composing 34 fire engines, 4 aerial ladder trucks, and 17 ambulances, were sent to battle the flames and provide medical assistance.
Some of the victims told reporters that neither the fire alarm nor the automatic sprinkler system went off. They added that a few emergency exit doors were also locked and that they were forced to hide in the bathroom and wait for help.
While the cause of the fire has yet to be determined by investigators, the fire appeared to have started on the fifth floor.
Huge smoke spotted at fire scene. (Facebook photo)
Fire victims evacuated from building. (CNA photo)
Several individuals in critical condition after KTV fire. (CNA photo)