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5th Taiwanese confirmed dead in Mexico quake

2017/09/23 13:07:18

Los Angeles, Sept. 22 (CNA) The fifth Taiwanese person believed to be trapped in the rubble of a building that collapsed during a strong earthquake in Mexico City was confirmed dead Friday, according to Carlos Liao (廖世傑), Taiwan's representative to the Latin American country.

On Tuesday, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked central Mexico, killing at least 250 people and destroying some 44 buildings, including homes, schools and offices.

The latest confirmed Taiwanese victim was Huang Hsien-yu (黃嫻鈺), the daughter of King Pei-ju (金珮如), another deceased Taiwanese who was trapped in the rubble.

King and Huang were the relatives of Taiwanese businessman Chen Po-wen (陳博文), who ran a shoe business from an office in the collapsed building.

Huang's body was actually recovered from the rubble a day after the tremor hit Mexico, but due to the difficulties in identifying the victims, her death was not confirmed at that time, Liao said.

With the rubble of the affected site cleared, Huang's family became more anxious about her whereabouts, so they returned to the city's forensic center with a doctor and the staff of Taiwan's representative office in Mexico. There they found and identified Huang's body at around 10 a.m. Friday.

The discovery meant that all of the five Taiwanese who had been trapped in the same toppled building are now confirmed dead.

In addition to Huang and King, the other three Taiwanese confirmed dead due to the earthquake are: Carolina Wang (王家妤), Lai Ying-hsia (賴映遐) and Lin Chia-ching (林家慶).

Wang and Lai were the employees of Chen. Lin, who made a business trip to Mexico City at the time of the disaster, ran a business in Paraguay.

On Thursday, Lin's family held a funeral in the city, attended by Victor Cuevas Nunez, Paraguay's ambassador to Mexico. Lin was also a citizen of Paraguay.

Liao expressed regret about the death of the five Taiwanese nationals.

According to Liao, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) and Foreign Minister David Lee (李大維) have sent condolences to the families of the deceased Taiwanese.

Liao said that his office will try its best to help them deal with the aftermath of the disaster when they arrive in Mexico City.

The quake hit at 1:13 p.m. Tuesday, hours after Mexico City held preparation drills on the anniversary of a magnitude 8.0 quake that struck there on Sept. 19, 1985, killing thousands.

The tremor occurred just 12 days after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit the coast of southern Mexico.

(By Edward Tsao and Frances Huang)
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