Kaohsiung: Fire at Taiwan tower block kills at least 24

Socialapps.Tech 10 Oct 13
Image caption, It took firefighters more than four hours to extinguish the blaze

At least 24 people have been killed and dozens more seriously injured in a fire at a 13-storey tower block in southern Taiwan, officials say.

A residential and commercial building in the city of Kaohsiung caught fire in the early hours of Thursday morning, the local fire department said.

It took firefighters more than four hours to extinguish the blaze.

The fire department told the BBC that 79 people had been taken to hospital, including 14 in a serious condition.

The cause of the fire is unclear and investigators are at the scene.

Officials have warned that the number of casualties could rise as people may have been trapped in the residential part of the building, between the seventh and 11th floors.

Image caption, Rescue teams at the scene assist survivors of the blaze in Kaohsiung city, southern Taiwan

Nearby residents told local media they heard a loud bang that sounded like an explosion before the fire.

"The power lines may have been outside... these past few days there have been 'boom' sounds from the power [lines]," one resident said, according to Reuters news agency.