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Dozens Dead After Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake Hits Taiwan

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Rescuers are seen entering an office building that collapsed on its side from an early morning earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake has struck southern Taiwan, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A powerful earthquake struck Taiwan early on Saturday killing at least 12 people, most in a 17-story apartment building that collapsed, with some people still known to be missing in the ruins of the complex as night fell, government officials said.

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Taiwan’s official Central News Agency said late Saturday that over 150 peopleremain missing.

As rescuers searched for survivors, questions were raised about the construction of the Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building in the southern city of Tainan, with its floors that pancaked down on each other when the 6.4 magnitude tremor hit at around 4 a.m. (2000 GMT), at the start of a Lunar New Year holiday.

Ten of the dead, including a 10-day-old girl, were from the apartment building. The baby was found in her dead father’s arms, media reported.

Rescuers mounted hydraulic ladders and a crane to scour the ruins, plucking survivors to safety, with hundreds taken to hospital, though many were quickly released.

An 18-year old man was found alive and conscious shortly after dark, and rescuers were working to get him free, while a 30-year-old woman, a nine-year old girl and a male toddler were pulled out alive, Taiwan television said.

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