At least four people died yesterday in a blaze that engulfed the upper floors on a high-rise in Taichung, trapping several more people and raining debris down onto the crowded streets below, fire officials and news reports said. \nNine people thought to have been eating in a restaurant had to be plucked from the roof of the Golden Plaza Tower by helicoptors lowering rescue baskets through thick smoke and swirling clouds of ash, Taiwanese television reports showed. \nTelevision reports also showed flames and heavy black smoke pouring out of the upper floors of the 25-story high-rise, one of the largest buildings in Taichung. \nA security officer working in an 18th floor pub was rescued but later died of his injuries, Lin Te-chang, an official at Taichung firefighting bureau, told reporters. \nAnother body was later recovered from the 18th floor, he said, adding that two more people were found dead in an elevator and two others suffered minor smoke inhalation. \nTelevision images showed scores of panicked people streaming out of the building onto the street as ash and pieces of blacked debris fell through the air. \nAuthorities were investigating the cause of the fire, which erupted about 4:15pm.
PHOTO: SUN YI-FENG, TAIPEI TIMES
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