Fire roared through a Buenos Aires nightclub packed with youngsters attending a rock concert, killing at least 174 people and injuring some 410 in one of Argentina's worst disasters in decades, officials said yesterday. \nInvestigators said they were looking into survivor accounts that some people found the building's emergency exit doors locked as they tried to flee the blaze. \nGrieving parents crowded the city's morgues to identify the dead -- many of them teenagers -- after the blaze swept late Thursday through the club, setting off a stampede for the emergency exits, witnesses said. \nThe fire unleashed thick clouds of black smoke, choking many inside and blocking out emergency lighting, survivors said. Hours after the blaze was brought under control, dozens of bodies were laid out in a nearby parking lot, their faces covered by T-shirts. \n"You couldn't see anything, the air was thick with smoke," said one survivor who identified himself only as Juan. \n"People were pushing and jumping over each other trying to get out," another concert-goer, Jose Maria Godoy, said. "It was like a human wave. As people fell down running for the door, others just simply ran over them or pushed them down." \nOvernight, relatives gathered outside Buenos Aires hospitals, seeking information about missing loved ones. Hospital officials shouted out the names of the injured as large crowds swarmed hospital entrances. \nCity officials said it wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire, but several survivors said they saw a flare hit a foam lining on the roof of the concert hall, triggering a fire. \nRock concerts in Argentina are frequently punctuated by fireworks set off by people in the crowd. \n"Someone from the crowd tossed a flare and there were immediately flames," said Fabian Zamudeo, a 22-year-old in the crowd to see a popular Argentine rock band, Los Callejeros. \n"Parts of the roof started falling down in flames and people started running, knocking over the speakers and light stands," he added. "People were choking on smoke and I tried to push as many people out as I could." \nMinutes after the fire broke out, shirtless concert-goers charged out of the building, many carrying people on their shoulders or grouped to help ferry to safety. \nAlfredo Stein, an official in the Buenos Aires health department, told reporters at least 174 had been killed and more than 410 people injured. \nMany of the dead were believed to have suffered from smoke inhalation, said Mariano Tili, a Buenos Aires city official helping in the rescue effort. \nHundreds of bystanders and relatives stood outside the building as rescue workers carried the wounded away on stretchers. Others could be seen treating the injured on the street in front of the Republica de la Cromagnon disco in the Argentine capital, which is popular with teenagers. \nRescue workers turned a nearby parking lot into a temporary morgue, lining up dozens of bodies. \nAs firemen battled the flames, some kids -- many dazed and covered in soot -- lingered outside the building after rushing out, screaming out the names of friends, hoping to find them. \nAmbulances packed with six or seven people deep ferried the injured to nearby hospitals and officers converted police vans into makeshift ambulances as the number of injured and dead climbed. \nStreets outside the nightclub in downtown Buenos Aires were lined with stray pairs of tennis shoes and strewn with blackened clothes -- remains of a chaotic scene that saw hordes of people barreling their way out of the building. \nArgentine media reported as many as 1,500 people were believed to have been in the building at the time, with some saying the number could be almost twice as many. \n"This is a true disaster ... particularly with so many young people and kids inside," said Interior Minister Anibal Fernandez.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
THAI CASE UPDATE: Twenty-nine close contacts of the worker have been tested with two types of tests, including 18 dorm mates, with 28 negative results so far Five imported cases of COVID-19, four from the Philippines and one from Hong Kong, were reported yesterday, bringing the total confirmed cases in Taiwan to 467, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The four returning from the Philippines were on the same flight, and the local health department has identified 15 people who had direct contact with them — including 10 passengers in the two rows in front or behind them, who have been put under 14-day home isolation, and five crew members, who will practice 14-day self-health management, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang