A woman found shielded under the body of her husband was pulled out alive from a toppled high-rise apartment building in Tainan, 48 hours after a powerful quake struck southern Taiwan killing at least 36 people.
Local legislator Wang Ting-yu told reporters on Monday that the rescued woman, Tsao Wei-ling, was found lying under her dead husband. Their two-year-old son, who was also killed, was found lying nearby.
Rescuers also confirmed on Monday that a second survivor – a man called Li Tsung-tian – had been pulled out of the rubble.
More than 100 people are still missing after Saturday’s earthquake with almost all the dead found in the toppled Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building in Tainan city.
Rescue efforts are focused on the wreckage of the 17-storey building, where 117 people are listed as missing and are suspected to be buried deep under the rubble.
Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from outside the collapsed building, said the rescue effort had reached a critical point.
“It has been three days, and it’s understood that those stuck under the rubble and still alive “Lots of questions are being asked about how this building was constructed. There are a lot of stories floating around about the builder. You could almost say he is the most wanted man in Taiwan right now. Everyone is trying to find him,” he said.
Tainan mayor William Lai said Tsao and Li were the only signs of life at present, although rescuers were continuing to look for others.
“We have not given up on even the tiniest of possibilities,” he told reporters.
Rescuers continued to scramble over the twisted wreckage of the building as numbed family members stood around, waiting for news of missing relatives.
President-elect Tsai Ing-wen, who won election last month, said there needed to be a “general sorting out” for old buildings to make sure they were able to cope with disasters like earthquakes.
“There needs to be a continued strengthening of their ability to deal with disasters,” she said during a visit in Tainan.
Outgoing president Ma Ying-jeou is also scheduled to visit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping conveyed condolences to the victims, state news agency Xinhua reported late on Sunday, and repeated Beijing’s offer to provide help.[Source: Al-Jazeera]