The seven-floor Manbo Hotel (曼波假期飯店) in Hualien County collapsed yesterday afternoon during its demolition process, crushing three vehicles.
As of press time last night, there were no casualties, local authorities said.
The Hualien County Police Department said it has reviewed footage of CCTV cameras along the road following reports that a scooter rider had been crushed by the collapse.
Photo courtesy of a member of the public via CNA
However, the rider, surnamed Wang (王), had called the county goverment to report that he was safe, and had visited the nearest police station to sign an affidavit.
The county government said it is in contact with Bai Sheng Construction Co (百盛營造), which was in charge of the demolition, to check if there might be any people trapped in the debris.
If there are none, the department said it would be deploying heavy machinery to remove the rubble and work through the night to restore road access by 10am today, although rainfall in the region would make the process more difficult.
Photo courtesy of a reader
The county government has established a category 1 disaster reaction center across the collapsed building.
It said it has asked concerned authorities to submit documents, includings permits and licenses, relating to Bai Sheng and its demolition plans to better understand what might have caused the building to collapse.
The Hualien County Fire Department said there had been a couple of fire incidents related to the crushed vehicles. Parts of the collapsed building also hit a Taiwan Power Co (台電) transformer in the area, resulting in a temporary power outage in the immediate vicinity of Guolian 5th Road and Guomin 9th Street.
Power had been restored to most users as of 4:30pm yesterday.
Bai Sheng’s subcontractor, Ya Guo Construction Co (亞國機械), yesterday said that the building’s front supporting columns could have cracked due to earthquakes or during the demolition process and were unable to support the weight of the building.
Additional reporting by CNA
‘UNPRECEDENTED’: Taiwan’s envoy said that official wording framing Taiwan-China issues as not about unification or independence counters the narrative Beijing wants Use of the phrase “democratic Taiwan” by Germany’s new coalition government in official document shows that Taiwan-China issues are not about “independence” against “unification,” but about democracy against authoritarianism, Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said yesterday. Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party and the Greens — known as the “traffic light coalition” for their colors — on Wednesday inked a coalition agreement following elections on Sept. 26. The agreement, a blueprint for their governance for the next four years, mentions “Taiwan,” which is unprecedented, showing that the new German government is paying close attention to cross-strait peace and supports Taiwan’s
BIDEN NOD: A China watcher said that the inclusion of Taiwan is notable, as it is the only democratic state on the list that Washington does not officially recognize Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) are to attend the US-led Summit for Democracy on Dec. 9 and 10, the government said yesterday, after US President Joe Biden announced the list of guests for the virtual event. The US Department of State on Tuesday announced a list of 110 invited participants, including Taiwan, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan and the UK. China and Russia were not invited, and Beijing expressed anger at the decision to invite Taiwan. The summit is to revolve around three key themes: Defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting
‘BADGE OF HONOR’: Lithuanian lawmaker Dovile Sakaliene, who is on China’s travel ban list, said delegation members joked that they would be joining her on it soon A delegation led by the chairman of the Lithuanian Parliamentary Group for Relations with Taiwan yesterday arrived in Taipei to participate in a conference on democracy later this week. The group, led by Matas Maldeikis, a Lithuanian lawmaker and an outspoken critic of China, touched down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 6:18am yesterday. Maldeikis said at the airport that he expected the trip to enhance understanding between Taiwan and Lithuania after cooperation between the two sides took a big step forward this past year. “This trip will be another step in understanding each other because we are dealing with the same challenges,”
GET A BOOST: After considering the potential for local outbreaks amid an increase in cases abroad, a committee recommended adolescents receive their second shots The level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended until Dec. 13, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, as it advised people in six high-risk groups to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. It also recommended that adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine receive a second shot. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the nationwide level 2 alert would remain in place for two more weeks from today. Chen said that during New Year’s events eating and drinking might be allowed in designated areas, while