Builder of collapsed Taiwan apartment building arrested after earthquake

Lin Minghui was arrested on criminal business misconduct in connection to the construction of the building.
By Ed Adamczyk  |  Feb. 9, 2016 at 7:55 AM
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TAINAN , Taiwan, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The builder of a 17-floor apartment building which collapsed in an earthquake over the weekend has been arrested, a government official said Tuesday.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake shook the city of nearly 2 million early Saturday, but damage was concentrated in a single place, the Weiguan Jinlong apartment building. At least 39 people within the building died, 320 were rescued and about 100 may still be trapped inside. All but two of those who died in the earthquake were in the apartment building.

Lin Minghui, developer of the apartment building, and two associates, identified as Chang and Cheng, were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of criminal business misconduct resulting in fatalities, Liu Shih-Chung, a Tainan deputy secretary general, announced.

Lin disappeared after the earthquake but was found by police. Lee Kunshan, Tainan city council member whose district includes the apartment building, said Lin allegedly vanished after business dealings deteriorated, and has legally changed his name at least four times and returned with new businesses.

The construction of the building has received attention since the earthquake. Plastic foam and tin cans spilled from within concrete columns as the building collapsed, and the structure was the tallest in the neighborhood, Lee said, because Lin used legal loopholes no longer available.

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