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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 February, 2005, 16:33 GMT
Air rescue from Taiwan tower fire

Fire raged through the upper floors of a landmark skyscraper in the Taiwanese city of Taichung, killing four before fire crews managed to put it out.

Helicopters winched nine people from the roof of the 25-storey Golden Plaza Tower in the centre of the island's third city as smoke swirled up.

The fire began at about 1600 (0800 GMT), apparently in a disco on the 18th floor, and spread quickly.

People streamed out into the street, covering their heads from glass shards.

Taiwanese television showed diners who had been eating in the revolving restaurant on the roof being lifted one by one to safety in helicopter rescue baskets.
Helicopter rescues people from skyscraper
Helicopters winched diners one by one to safety

The cause of the blaze has not been established.

The tower houses offices, shops and tutorial schools, as well as the disco, which is not thought to have been operating at the time.

At least two of the victims, said to be employees in the tower, were found on the 18th floor.

None of three people injured was seriously hurt, Reuters news agency reports.

The agency said fire crews took up to an hour and a half to extinguish the blaze.

Pictures of the fire raging through the building

In pictures: Taiwan blaze
26 Feb 05 |  In Pictures
Country profile: Taiwan
11 Dec 04 |  Country profiles

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