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South Taiwan mayor offers legal help to families of March 3 blackout victims

Two older men in Kaohsiung died after their ventilators failed during recent power outage

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Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai visits families of the victims of the 303 blackout on March 23, 2022.

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai visits families of the victims of the 303 blackout on March 23, 2022. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) has offered to hire a lawyer to help two families seek compensation for the death of their family members amid a recent nationwide blackout.

Kaohsiung Kuomintang (KMT) City Councilor Chiu Yu-hsuan (邱于軒) said at a city legislative meeting on Tuesday (March 22) that an elderly man surnamed Wu (吳) had died because the recent blackout on March 3 caused his ventilator to fail, per a CNA report.

In addition to 80-year-old Wu, it is reported another 94-year-old Kaohsiung man passed away under the same circumstances. Each man had three children and both had been living with their spouses.

In visits to the families on Wednesday, Chen said he would seek compensation from state-run Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) and that the Kaohsiung City Government would cover all necessary legal costs. He also inquired about the funeral arrangements and encouraged the family members to get out and engage with their local community again as soon as possible.

Chen called on Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Social Affairs Bureau to ensure measures are taken regarding ventilators in the future to prevent such personal tragedies from occurring again.