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Video shows scooter rider barely avoid being crushed by falling building in east Taiwan

Rider surnamed Wang found alive and well 3 hours after accident

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(Hualien Police Department video screenshot)

(Hualien Police Department video screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Dashcam video surfaced on Friday (Oct. 1) showing a scooter rider barely avoiding being crushed by a falling building in eastern Taiwan.

At 3:45 p.m. on Friday, the Manbo Holiday Hotel (漫波假期飯店) suddenly collapsed onto Guolian 5th Road, raising fears that pedestrians or motorists had been killed. That same day, dashcam video appeared on social media showing a scooter rider swerving at the moment the building was collapsing onto the road and disappearing out of sight, with their fate unknown at the time.

In the video, a motorist wearing a light blue jacket, black pants, and black helmet appears on the right side of the screen. After the scooter passes through two green lights, a green seven-story building can be seen on the right side of the street.

Video shows scooter rider barely avoid being crushed by falling building in east Taiwan
Ruins of building after it collapsed onto road. (CNA photo)

As the scooter starts to reach a stoplight, the building suddenly starts to fall forward toward the scooter, and the rider takes evasive maneuvers and rides diagonally to avoid both the building and a car stopped at the stoplight. It appears that the scooter rider had managed to just barely avoid being struck by the building, but it's uncertain, as the wreckage of the building obscures the view from the dashboard camera.

Authorities were later able to identify the motorist as having the surname Wang (王). By 6 p.m., they were able to confirm that Wang was safe and unharmed by the incident, reported UDN.

Video shows scooter rider barely avoid being crushed by falling building in east Taiwan
Overhead view of scene of accident. (CNA photo)

Miraculously, no people were injured. However, three parked cars were completely crushed. Hualien County Magistrate Hsu Chen-wei (徐榛蔚) ordered the road cleared of debris as soon as possible, and within less than 24 hours at 3:13 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 2), crews had been able to make the road passable again.

The current owner of the 41-year-old building had obtained a license to operate the hotel on the property on March 21, but on Sept. 19, the owner applied for permission to have the building demolished. The demolition work was originally not scheduled to be completed until Dec. 23.

Video shows scooter rider barely avoid being crushed by falling building in east Taiwan
Crews toil through the night to clear road of debris. (CNA photo)

As can be seen in the video, demolition crews had already razed most of the building, leaving only a thin facade standing precariously, with little in the way of support. The contractor reportedly claimed the surprise collapse was precipitated by earthquake damage.

According to Article 193 of the Criminal Code, "a contractor or an overseer who endangers public safety by violating an established rule of construction in erecting or demolishing a structure" faces a prison sentence of up to three years or a fine of up NT$90,000 (US$3,200).

Video shows scooter rider barely avoid being crushed by falling building in east Taiwan
Scene just moments after building fell. (CNA photo)

Video shows scooter rider barely avoid being crushed by falling building in east Taiwan
Road cleared of debris by next day. (CNA)