Taiwan News: Fire Rips Through Wards in New Taipei Hospital, Tsai Arrives in LA

Taiwan News: Fire Rips Through Wards in New Taipei Hospital, Tsai Arrives in LA
Photo Credit: Wiki Commons

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Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

Authorities say nine people remain without vital signs following a fire at the Taipei Hospital in New Taipei's Xinzhuang District earlier this morning.

Firefighters found 14 people showing no vital signs after they managed to enter building's seventh floor.

Officials said 10 people remain in critical condition while six others are suffering from minor injuries.

They have all been sent to nearby hospitals for emergency treatment.

According to firefighters, there were 32 patients, two caregivers, one nurse and eight foreign workers in the hospital at the time of the fire - which broke out at around 4:40 a.m. this morning.

More than 200 firefighters managed to get the blaze under control within an hour.

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) has visited the site of the fire and has been talking to firefighters and patients.

Several people said they heard an explosion prior to the fire, but an investigation into the exact cause of the blaze is still underway.

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President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has arrived in Los Angeles for a transit stopover on her way to Paraguay and Belize.

Tsai was met on arrival in Los Angeles by American Institute in Taiwan Chairman, James Moriarty.

She will heading to Paraguay later Monday -- where she will attend the inauguration of Paraguay's President-elect Mario Abdo Benitez on Aug. 15.

She is expected to meet with the heads of state of several other countries on the sidelines and the event and will also hold talks with Abdo Benitez and outgoing President Horacio Cartes.

Tsai will travel to Belize on Aug. 16 for a three-day visit, during which she will meet with Governor-General Colville Young and Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

She will give a speech to parliament there as well as visiting Taiwan's embassy and attending a Taiwan scholarship presentation ceremony.

Tsai will transit through Houston on the return trip, where she will spend some 27 hours.

The president will return to Taiwan on Aug. 20.

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Photo Credit: Yahoo News
Reports suggest that Yuanshan has been mixing fresh and tainted egg products since 2016.

The Food and Drug Administration said the Taoyuan District Prosecutors' Office has opened an investigation into an egg products manufacturing company, Yuanshan (元山蛋品有限公司), following allegations it has been using tainted eggs.

The administration said health officials from Changhua and Taoyuan are also looking into the allegations.

The moves comes after food safety officials said that chicken excrement, pieces of eggshell and maggots were found in liquid egg products at the company's production facility in Taoyuan.

Over 1,600 kilograms of products believed to have manufactured with tainted eggs have been sealed and the factory has been ordered to suspend operations.

Reports suggest the company is believed to have been using tainted eggs in some of its products since 2016.

Health officials have ordered recalls of all liquid egg products manufactured by Yuanshan.

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The government is denying allegations from the Philippines that illegal drugs recently seized in the country originated in Taiwan.

According to the Ministry of Finance, it has looked into the case and found that methamphetermine recently smuggled into the Philippines inside magnetic scrap lifters packed in shipping containers did not come from Taiwan.

The statement comes after authorities in Manila claimed that two recent batches of methamphetermine brought into the country came from Taiwan.

Philippine customs officials intercepted 500 kilograms of the drug at the Manila International Container Terminal last Tuesday and said the shipment was sourced from Taiwan and had been transshipped to the Philippines from Malaysia.

A second shipment of methamphetermine was also found at the container terminal, and Philippine customs officials said it is believed to have come Taiwan or China.

Authorities here in Taiwan said they believe it was exported from Vietnam and transited through Kaohsiung before arriving in the Philippines.

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Photo Credit: Wiki Commons
Taiwan claims the methamphetermine, known as 'shabu' in the Philippines, originated in Vietnam.

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Environmentalists are urging the government to reconsider plans to expand a liquefied natural gas terminal in Taichung, saying the project will jeopardize the habitat of the endangered Taiwanese humpback dolphin.

The call comes after the proposal by the Taiwan International Ports Corporation entered a second-phase environmental impact assessment.

If that proposal is passed, work on the terminal could begin soon.

Environmental groups said the humpback dolphin was placed on the endangered species list on May of this year by the U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

It is believed fewer than 70 of the marine mammals still exist.

According to the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, the government and developers should reconsider plans to expand the terminal because it is designated within the dolphin's west coast habitat.

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The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has said the concentration of PM2.5 particulates in Taiwan industrial parks were higher in 2017 than in previous years.

According to the EPA, the increase, however, may not be related to more pollutants being released into the air.

The EPA has air quality monitoring stations in five of the island's industrial parks, and four of them showed higher average concentrations of airborne particulate matter smaller than 2.5-micrometers last year than a year earlier.

The head of the EPA's Department of Air Quality Protection said the poorer air quality in industrial parks resulted from less rainfall in 2017 rather than there being more pollutants in being released into the air.

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Police have detained 68 people following a drugs raid on a bar in Yunlin County.

Police say the raid on the bar in the county's Dou-Nan District followed a tip-off that the owners were selling drugs to customers.

Fifty-four foreign nationals were arrested in the raid - mostly Vietnamese migrant workers.

Police also seized 1.8-grams of ketamine and 98-grams of other illegal drugs.

All 68 suspects have been referred to the Yunlin District Prosecutors' Office for further action.

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Vietnam's departing representative to Taiwan says he will continue to promote Vietnam-Taiwan ties after leaving his post because of his strong feelings for the island, regardless of what post he takes up in the future.

Speaking to reporters, Tran Duy Hai - the head of the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei - said he has been deeply moved by the kindness and friendliness Taiwan's people have shown him during the more than three years here.

Tran's time here as Hanoi's top envoy was not his first exposure to Taiwan.

He first visited in the early 1990s to study the possibility of establishing Vietnam's first representative office in Taiwan since the two countries cut official ties in 1975.

The Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei was later established in 1993.


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This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

Editor David Green (@DavidPeterGreen)