Su task MOI to improve fire prevention

  • By Lu Yi-hsuan / Journalist

Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday issued four directives to address public security concerns that have surfaced following a fire in Kaohsiung that left 46 people dead and dozens injured.

The 13-story Cheng Chung Cheng building fire on Thursday was the second deadliest in Taiwan, behind the February 1995 fire at the Weierkang Club in Taichung that left 64 people dead.

Local residents said the Cheng Chung Cheng Building housed many poor people, the elderly and disabled, and many appear to have been trapped in their apartments during the blaze.

In a meeting called yesterday with several cabinet members, Su instructed the Interior Ministry to carry out four tasks, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said.

Su asked the ministry to work with local governments and verify the fire prevention mechanism in all old buildings, especially residential buildings with mixed commercial use, adding that amendments should be proposed in a timely manner if current laws were found to be inadequate.

Su also called on the ministry to work with the Ministry of Health and Welfare as well as with local authorities to prioritize resources for people from disadvantaged groups living in these buildings.

Buildings in poor condition should be given priority in local government building renovation projects, Su said.

He also instructed the ministry to amend the Condominium Administration Act (公寓 大廈 管理 條例) to require all buildings to establish a management committee.

However, the law does not apply to the 18,000 mixed-use buildings of the country’s six special municipalities that were built before its enactment in 1995, he said.

Separately, the Kaohsiung city government said it will cover the medical expenses of those injured in the blaze and help organize accommodation for the next six months for the residents who have been displaced.

CNA Supplementary Reports

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