Nine killed in Taiwan hospital blaze

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Taipei, Aug 13 (IANS) Nine people were killed and 16 injured as fire engulfed a hospital in Taiwan’s New Taipei City on Monday, officials said.

The incident took place on the seventh floor of the Weifu hospital, in Xinzhuang district, where over 200 firemen evacuated dozens of patients, but at least nine of them were dead before reaching other hospitals, Efe reported.

Some witnesses said they heard the sound of an explosion before the start of the fire.

A statement from the Office of Disaster Prevention of the Taiwanese Ministry of Health and Welfare said that 33 patients, two employees and a nurse were rescued.

The fire started in a building of the Weifu Hospital and 76 rescue vehicles and some 276 firefighters were deployed to the scene to control the fire, which was extinguished within an hour.

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The victims were transferred to the Yadong, Xintai, Hulong, Beima and Fudan hospitals.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and the police of New Taipei have initiated an investigation.

–IANS

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