Taiwan detains developer of building where quake killed 14

Rescuers work on a search operation at an apartment building collapsed after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan on February 7. (Chiang Ying-ying, AP)
Rescuers work on a search operation at an apartment building collapsed after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan on February 7. (Chiang Ying-ying, AP)

Taipei – Prosecutors in eastern Taiwan have detained the developer of a building complex that collapsed in an earthquake earlier this month, killing 14 people.

The office of the Hualien district prosecutor said in a statement on Tuesday that Liu Ying-lin was ordered held over concerns he was seeking to duck responsibility and could collude with others or tamper with evidence and witnesses.

It said Liu was unqualified to undertake such a project and that the 12-story Yun Men Tsui Ti mixed commercial-residential complex was built far below basic standards for withstanding an earthquake.

The building's architect and the operators of a hot pot restaurant and hotel in the building were released on bail.

A total of 17 people were killed in buildings that partially collapsed in the February 6 magnitude 6.4 earthquake.

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