Hopes fading of finding more survivors in Taiwan earthquake

AP

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  • Rescuers from Japan join the searching operation at an apartment building collapsed after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck late Tuesday night caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

  • 1

    A excavator hanged up to roof during the demolition operation at a collapsed hotel building after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck late Tuesday night caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

  • 2

    A fireman oversees demolition operations at a collapsed hotel building after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck late Tuesday night caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

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    Staff of the collapsed Marshal hotel, Chen Chao-ming, right, holds the deputy director Mr. Jou as the demolition operation at a hotel building collapsed after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck late Tuesday night caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

  • 4

    Survivors look for belongings during the demolition operation at a collapsed hotel building after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck late Tuesday night caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

  • Rescuers from Japan join the searching operation at an apartment building collapsed after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck late Tuesday night caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

  • 1

    A excavator hanged up to roof during the demolition operation at a collapsed hotel building after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck late Tuesday night caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

  • 2

    A fireman oversees demolition operations at a collapsed hotel building after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck late Tuesday night caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

  • 3

    Staff of the collapsed Marshal hotel, Chen Chao-ming, right, holds the deputy director Mr. Jou as the demolition operation at a hotel building collapsed after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck late Tuesday night caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

  • 4

    Survivors look for belongings during the demolition operation at a collapsed hotel building after a strong earthquake in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck late Tuesday night caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

HUALIEN, Taiwan (AP) Hopes of finding additional survivors from this week's earthquake in Taiwan were fading Friday after two more bodies were found in a partially collapsed hotel and no signs detected of a missing family of five.

Rescuers broke through to a room in the Beauty Inn where the couple Canadian citizens originally from Hong Kong were found, Taiwanese broadcasters reported. No signs of life were found, they said.

The hotel, located on the lower floors of the 12-story Yunmen Tsuiti building, had almost entirely collapsed. The building itself was leaning at a 45-degree angle, forcing crews to stabilize it with steel beams.

The others missing in the hotel are five members of a family from China, including parents, grandparents and their 12-year-old son.

The Yunmen Tsuiti building was one of several damaged by the magnitude 6.4 temblor that struck Tuesday in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hualien county, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism.

The deaths of the couple, both 49, raises the death toll to 12, including four tourists from China and a 27-year-old Filipino employed as a household helper. Taiwan's National Fire Agency listed 273 people as injured.

Hundreds of rescuers were on the scene, including a team from Japan deploying cutting-edge equipment that can detect a heartbeat within a 15-meter (49-foot) range.

Taiwanese broadcasters said earlier indications that signs of life had been detected turned out to be false. Efforts to drill into the hotel rooms where the missing were thought to be trapped was made more difficult by the angle of the building's lean and the collapsed state of the interior.

TV stations also reported rescuers had detected the smell of decaying corpses.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen visited Thursday with people sheltering in schools and other sites as a safeguard against repeated aftershocks.

Taiwan has frequent earthquakes, most of them minor, but a 1999 quake killed more than 2,300 people and was Taiwan's worst recent natural disaster.

   

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