Taiwan factory fire death toll rises to nine after two more bodies found

An aerial view shows smoke billowing from a factory after a fire in Pingtung, southern Taiwan on September 23, 2023. - AFP

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP): Search teams found two more bodies on Sunday at the site of a golf ball factory fire in southern Taiwan, raising the death toll to nine, according to Taiwanese media reports. One person remained missing.

Four of the victims were firefighters. An explosion about 6:10 p.m. on Friday caused part of the building to collapse, trapping firefighters and workers under rubble, Taiwan's Central News Agency said, quoting a Pingtung County fire official. A second explosion followed 20 minutes later.

The fire at the Launch Technologies Co. factory at Pingtung Technology Industrial Park was not extinguished until the next day. The cause remained unclear.

About 100 people were injured. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen traveled to Pingtung County on Saturday and met with victims and their families, Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS reported. - AP

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