More than 40 feared dead in fire in southern Taiwan

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More than 40 people are feared to have died after a fire in a residential building in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, the authorities said on Thursday. Mayor Chen Chi-mai said the building was partly abandoned, having previously been host to restaurants, karaoke lounges and a cinema. The government is investigating the cause including whether arson was to blame.

More than 40 people are feared to have died after a fire in a residential building in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, the authorities said on Thursday. The fire broke out in the 40-year-old building in Kaohsiung's Yancheng district in the early hours of the morning and was extinguished around dawn.

Kaohsiung fire chief Lee Ching-hsiu said firefighters were still going through the building and it looked like the number of dead could exceed 40 people. Mayor Chen Chi-mai said the building was partly abandoned, having previously been host to restaurants, karaoke lounges and a cinema.

The government is investigating the cause including whether arson was to blame.

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