3 Vietnamese workers dead, 1 critical, after warehouse fire in Taoyuan City

[Picture: United Daily News]

Three Vietnamese nationals are confirmed dead, after two bodies were found this morning, in the wake of a fire that broke out at the Kerry Logistics Company warehouse in Guanyin District, Taoyuan City, yesterday, February 6.

A group of six Vietnamese workers employed by a sub-contractor entered the building at around 8:00am yesterday to perform maintenance work on air conditioning and refrigeration units during the Lunar New Year holiday period.

At around 10:19am, a fire alarm sounded. Firefighters who arrived at the scene pulled two men out of the building at around 11:00am. Both men had lost vital signs. A 30-year-old man, Ruan Fei-xiong (阮菲雄) was declared dead at the Taoyuan Hospital, while 35-year-old Ruan De-sheng(阮德聖) remains on life support in the intensive care unit.

According to United Daily News, it is suspected that an explosion occurred while the workers were performing maintenance on a freezer unit.

One man and a woman managed to escape from the flames, and exited the building on their own shortly after the fire started. Another two people remained missing.

The Taoyuan City Fire Department dispatched 39 firefighting appliances and 103 firefighters to the scene of the fire.

Firefighters fought the blaze for most of the day, and after bringing the fire under control, continued to work through the night before the fire was finally extinguished at around 5:30am this morning.

Firefighters notified police that they had found the two missing workers at around 10:50am, and that they were obviously dead. The two bodies were found in front of the elevators on the second floor.

The deceased were later identified as 33-year-old Ruan Wen-qin (阮文欽), and 34-year-old Zeng Wen-sheng (曾文勝). Zeng’s brother and wife, who also live and work in Taiwan helped identify the remains in the afternoon.

According to a report in Liberty Times, Zeng and his wife were married three years ago, and had decided that one person would go to Taiwan to earn money, while another stayed at home to care for the family.

Ms Zeng was the first to apply for a work permit, and Mr Zeng arrived in Taiwan just three months ago.

The sub-contractor, Mr Chen, and the two workers who escaped the blaze were questioned about the cause of the blaze last night, and will make statements to the District Prosecutor today.

The five-storey warehouse building had only been recently opened after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 1.

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Sources: United Daily News, TVBS, CNA.

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