1 still unaccounted for in Pingtung factory fire
Taipei, Sept. 24 (CNA) Emergency service personnel are still trying to account for one missing person following a fire at a golf ball factory in Pingtung County on Friday that killed at least nine, local government officials said Sunday.
Representatives from the Pingtung County Government told reporters that a ninth body was found at 3:53 p.m. on Sunday at Launch Technologies Co. at Pingtung Technology Industrial Park, where the blaze and subsequent explosions took place two days ago.
According to the county government, 109 others were injured in the blaze, while one person is still unaccounted for.
Meanwhile, representatives from both Launch Technologies and its parent company, Advanced International Multitech Co., announced in a press conference at Taipei Exchange that it would establish a support fund to support the victims.
"There is absolutely no problem, no matter if it is NT$300 million (US$9.4 million) or NT$500 million," Advanced International Multitech Chairman Cheng Hsi-chien (鄭錫潛) told reporters.
The overall extent of the financial losses is still under assessment, but Launch Technologies has insurance coverage of NT$1.5 billion for buildings, equipment, and inventory, according to Advanced International Multitech, which holds 52 percent of its stock share.
Advanced International Multitech admitted that the employer liability and public liability claims may go beyond those covered by its insurance policies, but stressed it was committed to providing maximum compensation.
Regarding media reports about poor working conditions and overtime, Advanced International Multitech explained that the subsidiary had made improvements to the working environment and automation in recent years.
Daily administrative operations of the subsidiary can continue as usual, with office and staff relocations being planned and some personnel temporarily relocated to the parent company's premises, it said.
The fire started at the factory Friday evening and was extinguished at 9:56 p.m. Saturday after more than 28 hours of firefighting efforts, according to the authorities.
The blaze claimed the lives of four firefighters and five factory workers, official said.
The cause of the fire is pending investigation, the companies said.
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