The developer of a building that collapsed during an earthquake Saturday in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan has been arrested Tuesday, according to media reports. A 6.4 magnitude earthquake toppled the high-rise apartment building leaving over 100 people buried deep under the rubble, raising questions about its construction quality.
The Tainan District Prosecutors Office said Lin Ming-hui and two others, identified only by their surnames, Chang and Cheng, were suspected of negligence resulting in several deaths, the Associated Press reported, citing Taiwan's official Central News Agency. The news came as rescuers deployed heavy machinery to locate the missing believed to be trapped under the rubble of the 17-story Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building. The death toll from the quake reached 41 Tuesday morning, and no survivors were brought out since Monday evening.
Several questions have been raised over the structural integrity of the Weiguan Golden Dragon Building, which was built in 1989.
Firefighters and rescue workers have reportedly pulled 38 bodies from the wreckage of the building since the quake Saturday. Over 300 people were rescued in the city in the hours immediately after the quake.
The quake, which struck during the most important family holiday in the Chinese calendar — the Lunar New Year, only completely destroyed the Weiguan Golden Dragon Building in the city of two million people, while damage was reported from other buildings.
Reuters reported earlier that residents of the building had frequently complained of problems, such as tiles falling from walls, malfunctioning lifts and blocked pipes, much before the quake.