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Cat rescued from partially collapsed building

2018/02/09 19:19:08

Taipei, Feb. 9 (CNA) One very lucky cat was found inside a partially collapsed apartment building in Hualien Friday during a last round of inspections and was rescued just in time before demolition of the building began.

According to the firefighter who saved the animal, it was sitting in the stairwell of one of two apartment buildings that partially collapsed in Tuesday's earthquake.

The cat was very well-behaved and did not struggle when the firefighter reached out to grab it. It has since been reunited with its owner.

The Hualien County government announced a day earlier that it would begin the demolition Friday of three of the four buildings that sustained damage during the magnitude 6 earthquake for public safety reasons.

The three are the Marshal Hotel and two apartment buildings, all located in downtown Hualien, while the remaining building, the Yun Men Tsui Ti commercial and residential complex, is still being searched for five remaining missing people.

At around noon, police and firefighters entered the three buildings earmarked for demolition to make sure there was no one still inside.

Many survivors of the earthquake have been trying to get inside to retrieve their private possessions, although their attempts have been thwarted by the authorities, who say it is too dangerous.

After a final inspection at 3:20 p.m., demolition of the buildings began.

As of 4 p.m., the number of deaths in the Hualien earthquake had risen to 12, while the number of injured had reached 277, with five people still unaccounted for.

(By Chen Chun-hua and Kuan-lin Liu)