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Cat whose owner died trying to save it spotted in building

04/10/2024 12:44 PM
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The cat owned by the 33-year-old woman, surnamed Kang. Photo courtesy of a private contributor April 10, 2024
The cat owned by the 33-year-old woman, surnamed Kang. Photo courtesy of a private contributor April 10, 2024

Taipei, April 10 (CNA) A cat owned by a woman who died while attempting to rescue it from a building in Hualien that partially collapsed during a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on April 3 was spotted alive in the building on Tuesday, according to local firefighters.

The 33-year-old woman, surnamed Kang (康), made it out of her building unharmed after the initial quake but became trapped when she rushed back in minutes later to save her cat as the building shifted during an aftershock, the Hualien County Fire Department said.

First responders later found Kang, a vocational senior high school teacher, pinned under a collapsed column with no vital signs in the afternoon and was subsequently pronounced dead, the department added.

Kang was last seen telling neighbors she was returning to the building to rescue her cat, according to the department.

Kang's cat was seen Tuesday when another orange tabby cat was found stuck in metal bars in a window on the seventh floor of the eight-story Uranus Building amid ongoing demolition work.

The orange cat was confirmed to be the pet of a woman surnamed Yu (余), who lived on the building's 8th floor.

Deng Zih-yu (鄧子榆), director of Hualien County's Department of Public Works, directed that demolition efforts be halted and deployed a ladder truck to the scene, resulting in the cat's successful rescue.

While watching video of the rescue, some people spotted another orange cat in a nearby window, and Kang's family later confirmed it was indeed Kang's cat.

The fire department said it placed a cage trap at the site to try to rescue it.

(By Lee Hsien-feng and Evelyn Kao)

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