Six Elderly Residents Killed in Taiwan Retirement Home Blaze

Six Elderly Residents Killed in Taiwan Retirement Home Blaze
Photo Credit: 中央社影片截圖

What you need to know

Police are trying to determine whether insufficient staff may have hampered evacuation efforts.

Six people were killed and as many as 29 injured in a fire at a private long-term nursing home in Xindian, New Taipei City, on July 6.

According to preliminary reports, the fire started around 7 am in one of the residents’ rooms, located on the eighth floor of the 10-story Lehuo Care Center. Three charred bodies were found in the room, and rescue teams have not been able to identify them immediately. Three other victims, women aged 79, 87 and 95, were later pronounced dead, Agence France-Presse reports.

A total of 31 residents were rushed to the hospital, 17 of them suffering serious injuries.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze. New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) said the fire appeared to have started in the center's electrical equipment.

Although the fire, described as an intense blaze, was put out in about 40 minutes, the evacuation was hampered by the fact that most of the residents were bedridden or could only move around in wheelchairs.

Police are also looking into claims that the nursing home, which son of one of the victims told Apple Daily seemed “overloaded,” may not have been properly staffed at the time. According to local media, the nursing home has seven employees, but only two or three were working at the time, with as many as 42 residents in the building.

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: Edward White