Taiwan Quake: Collapsed Tower Block Traps 132 People

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FAMILIES and children remain trapped beneath the rubble of an apartment block which collapsed following a powerful earthquake in Taiwan.

Rescue teams armed with sniffer dogs and listening devices have been working through the night in an attempt to locate 132 survivors.

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But officials have warned it may only be possible to easily reach 29 of those trapped — leaving an uncertain fate for the other 103 buried deeper within the crumpled remains of the 17-storey building.

More than 240 people have so far been rescued from the building which collapsed when a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck the two million-populated city of Tainan at about 4am on Saturday.

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The quake was so violent that tremors were felt in Taiwan’s capital Taipei, almost 300km away, where Madonna was due to perform as part of her current world tour.

The pop icon revealed the experience was “scary” and offered her condolences to “any of the families of the people who lost their lives”.

Taiwanese authorities have raised questions over the quality of the construction of the fallen tower, which was built in the early 1990s.

Liu Shih-chung, Tainan city government deputy secretary general, said footage of the building’s ruins suggested the possibility of structural problems related to poor-quality reinforced steel and cement.

However, city officials have revealed it is too early to say for certain if poor construction was a factor in the collapse.