Company May Be Charged in Deadly Taoyuan Fire

taoyuan fire
Photo courtesy Taoyuan Fire Department

An early morning fire that killed six Vietnamese workers and injured another five may lead to criminal charges against the owners of the warehouse, UDN reported.

While authorities work to identify the six people who were burned beyond recognition and notify their families, the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office is investigating possible charges against Sican Co., Ltd. (矽卡有限公司), the owner of the warehouse that doubled as a dormitory for the migrant workers. Prosecutor Hsieh Wen-chi (謝雯璣) began a forensic investigation into the incident.

The Taoyuan Office of Labor Inspection said that it has already granted compensation and labor insurance payments to the victims’ families, once each is identified. The office may grant additional compensation and will work to provide the maximum rights for the victims.

Office of Building Administration Director Wang Chen-hung (王振鴻) said that city regulations prohibit warehouse and factory facilities from doubling as dormitories. Wang said that 120 ping (about 400 sqm) of the Sican warehouse was used as a dormitory, but the city had no record of the dormitory on file. There is also no record of the city inspecting a dormitory at the site.

The company is liable for compensation to the victims’ families and may be liable for additional compensation and criminal charges depending on the investigation’s findings. The city government is awaiting results of the investigation.

Sican Chairman Chen Hung-ju (陳宏如) and factory chief Hsieh Chao-yi (謝朝怡) were released on NT$1 million (US$33,000) bail each on Friday and restricted from leaving Taiwan, according to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office.

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