TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Video surfaced on Sunday (Sept. 19) showing the ceiling of a badminton court in north Taiwan suddenly collapsing as a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck the country.
At 2:44 p.m., a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck southeastern Taiwan at a shallow focal depth of 7 kilometers, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB). The epicenter of the temblor was 42.7 kilometers north of Taitung County Hall, with damage reported across Taitung, neighboring counties, and other parts of the country.
Badminton court pictured on Saturday (Sept. 17) before quake. (Facebook, Bade Civil Sports Center photo)
The Taoyuan County Fire Bureau at 2:54 p.m. received a report that the steel ceiling light frames of an indoor badminton court on the fifth floor of the Bade Civil Sports Center in Taoyuan City's Bade District had collapsed, reported CNA. A 36-year-old man surnamed Chang (張), who was playing badminton at the time suffered contusions and lacerations to his back.
After paramedics cleaned his wounds and applied bandages to stop the bleeding, Chang was transported to Saint Paul's Hospital in Taoyuan City's Taoyuan District. After receiving medical treatment, Chang was released as his injuries were not serious.
Damage to badminton court after quake struck on Sunday. (CNA photo)
In video of the incident that appeared on the Line group 社會事新聞影音, people can be seen playing badminton in three out of the four courts. The competitors suddenly stop play as the quake strikes.
They appear to notice something wrong with the light structure over their heads. The ceiling equipment suddenly starts to collapse from the back of the room and debris starts to cascade toward the front, prompting the players to flee to the exits.
Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) went to the sports center to investigate the incident Sunday afternoon. In order to prevent further collapses, the mayor ordered that an inspection of the building's structural integrity be carried out immediately by professional technicians and engineers. He called for the strengthening of the construction methods used to prevent such failures from happening in the future.
The mayor also called on the Taoyuan Department of Sports and the Civil Affairs Office of Bade District to check in on the well-being of the injured people. The Taoyuan Department of Sports stated that the Bade Civil Sports Center officially opened on Oct. 12 of last year and the China Youth Corps was entrusted by the department to operate the facility.
The Taoyuan Office of Public Construction will investigate the collapse as soon as possible. The Department of Sports will also assist in ensuring the safe reopening of the venue. No other national sports centers were damaged by the quake.