Tainan will make sure defendants in building collapse pay: mayor

A building is under construction on Thursday where Wei Guan residential building located. (CNA)
A building is under construction on Thursday where Wei Guan residential building located. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — Tainan city government will take all measures necessary to make sure that those responsible for the collapse of Wei Guan (維冠) residential building pay up fines, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-Cher (黃偉哲) said on Thursday.

On Feb. 6, 2016, Wei Guan (維冠) residential building collapsed in the aftermath of a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit southern Taiwan. The incident claimed 115 lives, injured more than 100, making it one of the most fatal in single-building disasters in Taiwan.

All measures to Be Taken to Compensate Victims

Earlier Thursday, Tainan District Court decided on a class-action lawsuit and ordered five defendants, including architects, developers and a technician to pay a total of NT$700 million in compensation.

Mayor Huang hailed the decision by calling the judge “wise.”

Addressing concerns that the defendants aren’t financially sufficient to pay up, Huang said that the city government has confiscated some of their properties following the tragedy and that it will “take all measures necessary” to compensate victims.

He added that while NT$700 million seemed plentiful, “it will never make up for residents’ loss”.

The lawsuit was filed by the Consumers’ Foundation (消基會) on behalf of 170 victims’ families and households affected by the incident. They had demanded more than NT$3.5 billion in compensation.

The case was the first among four civil lawsuits filed in regards to the Wei Guan building collapse to reach a decision.

Defendants Found Guilty of Negligent Manslaughter

Last year, five people directly associated with the construction of the Wei Guan (維冠) residential building, including developer Lin Ming-hui (林明輝), were sentenced to five years in prison and NT$90,000 fine each on the charge of negligent manslaughter.

The decision came after an investigation found that developers cut corners in the construction of the building. Tin cans for cooking oil and polystyrene materials were found in the walls and pillars, the investigation found.

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