A fire broke out in a residential building in southern Taiwan on Thursday night, killing 25 and injuring dozens.
Fire broke out in the 13-storey building around 3 a.m. in Kaohsiung city, fire department officials said.
Officials said 55 people were taken to hospital, including 14 who showed no signs of life. In Taiwan, the official confirmation of death can only be done in the hospital.
At least 11 people found at the scene were sent directly to the morgue, the chief of the fire department said while addressing reporters at the scene.
By noon, firefighters were engaged in search and rescue operations.
According to a statement from the fire department, the fire was “extremely severe” and destroyed several floors of the building.
Firefighters are unsure of the source of the fire, but noted flames burn most intensely where there is a lot of chaos.
Witnesses told local media that they heard the explosion around 3 a.m.
According to an official statement, the building is about 40 years old, with shops on the lower level and apartments upstairs.
The fire has been brought under control, but the lower levels of the building have been completely darkened.