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Filipino man killed in factory fire in northern Taiwan

Filipino man dies after suffering third-degree burns to 90% of his body in Taoyuan factory fire

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Filipino man killed in factory fire in northern Taiwan

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Filipino man lost his life on Monday (Dec. 21) after he suffered severe burns during a fire at a factory in northern Taiwan on Sunday (Dec. 20).

At 12:14 p.m. on Sunday, the fire department received a report that a fire had broken out at the Sci Pharmtech Inc. (旭富製藥) factory in Taoyuan City's Luzhu District, which manufactures hydroxychloroquine API. Such was the intensity of the inferno that it rapidly spread to five nearby factories.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, they encountered a five-story factory ablaze, and northeasterly winds were sending embers flying in all directions. Firefighters immediately distributed water lines to extinguish the fire, but due to a large number of water-resistant chemicals stored at the scene and high temperatures caused by the flames, the water hoses were burned and firefighters had to retreat.

Filipino man killed in factory fire in northern Taiwan
(CNA photo)

The fire, which was believed to have been caused by the ignition of chemical solvents on the third floor, continued to spread rapidly. A large amount of recycled paper piled up in a nearby wallpaper factory and flammable raw materials contained in a neighboring textile factory made the fire more difficult to control. At the height of the fire, temperatures in the Sci Pharmtech factory are believed to have climbed to as high as 200 or 300 degrees Celsius, greatly hampering rescue efforts, reported CNA.

Firefighters were finally able to bring the blaze under control by 5:32 p.m., but work continued well into the night to snuff out the final remnants. The fire department estimates the inferno scorched an area of 34,176 square meters and had inflicted approximately NT$800 million (US$28.39 million) in property damages.

According to the fire department, two employees suffered injuries during the blaze including a 30-year-old Filipino male migrant worker, who suffered third-degree burns to 90 percent of his body and a Taiwanese man in his 40s surnamed Hsu (徐), who suffered burns to his right hand. Both men were immediately rushed to the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Filipino man killed in factory fire in northern Taiwan
(CNA photo)

Hsu was released after being kept under observation for eight hours. However, the Filipino man was intubated and taken to a specialist burn unit.

Despite efforts to save his life, the Filipino man succumbed to his wounds and was declared dead early this morning, reported UDN. Sci Pharmtech spokesman Yang Wen-chen (楊文禎) on Monday said that he has notified the man's family members of his death via the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taiwan and he pledged that the company will do its utmost to provide proper compensation to his family.

Filipino man killed in factory fire in northern Taiwan
(CNA photo)

Filipino man killed in factory fire in northern Taiwan
(CNA photo)

Filipino man killed in factory fire in northern Taiwan
(CNA photo)


Updated : 2021-01-19 02:16 GMT+08:00