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Taiwan high-rise fire leaves at least 46 dead, dozens injured

At least 46 people were killed in a fire overnight Wednesday at a high-rise apartment building in southern Taiwan and dozens of others were injured, local officials said Thursday.

The “extremely fierce” blaze started around 3 a.m. on Thursday, engulfing the entire building in the city of Kaohsiung and destroying many floors. Witnesses said they heard an explosion around the same time.

Orange flames lit up the night sky as firefighters worked to cut down the blaze, leaving the building smoldering hours later.

At least 11 bodies were sent straight to the morgue, Fire Chief Li Ching-hsiu told reporters at the scene. Another 14 people who showed no signs of life were among 55 taken to the hospital. In Taiwan, official confirmation of a death can only be made in the hospital.