[Breaking News: Rapid updates expected]
Witnesses reported seeing petrol bombs thrown at a restaurant in Tucheng District, New Taipei City, before the premises broke into flames that spread to residential apartments in the 5 storey building. Four serious injuries have been reported, including 3 who had lost vital signs at the scene.
A 28 year-old woman jumped from a third floor balcony, and was reported to have suffered fractures to her legs, but was conscious after concerned neighbors placed quilts on an awning to help break her fall. The woman was rushed to Far Eastern Memorial Hospital along with the other casualties who included two middle-aged residents found on the second floor with burn injuries but no vital signs.
Emergency services received the first reports at 8:43pm that a goose meat restaurant was ablaze on Zhongyang Road.
A UDN report said that police suspected the arson attack was related to gambling debts racked up by the restaurant owner’s son. According to the report, the restaurant had been “visited” before by debt collectors.
Tonight 2 or 3 petrol bombs were thrown at the premises. Witnesses reported a fierce flash of light, followed by fire before a black Mercedes Benz sped away.
At 10:48pm UDN reported that there was one confirmed death, another in a life-threatening condition, and two other injuries.
Tucheng District has proved to be a hotbed of crime and violent gang activity recently beginning with the assassination of Huang Yilun (黃義倫) in June. A reprisal attack left one dead and three injured in September.