Media caption, It took over four hours for the fire department to put out the fire
At least 46 people were killed and dozens more seriously bleft in a 13-story tower fire in southern Taiwan, officials say.
A residential and commercial building in Kaohsiung town caught fire in the early hours of Thursday morning the local fire department said.
It took more than four hours for firefighters to put out the blaze.
Firefighters told Hfrance.fr that 79 people had been taken to hospital, 14 of them in serious condition.
The cause of the fire is unclear and investigators are at the scene.
Authorities earlier warned that people may have been trapped in the residential part of the building, between the seventh and 11th floors.
Image source, Image caption, Firefighters search for casualties after a fatal fire at a residential building in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan
Local residents told local media they heard a loud bang that sounded like to an explosion before the fire.
"The power lines may have been outside ... for the last few days there have been 'boom' sounds coming from the [ ] power lines, "said one resident,according to the Reuters news agency.
Piles of unused items in the lower floors of the building made the rescue efforts more difficult.
Firefighters subsequently urged the public not to allow garbage to accumulate in or around their residences and to keep the stairs clear.
The lower part of the The building once housed restaurants, karaoke bars and a cinema, but these were apparently no longer in use.
A number of residents in the block of around 120 apartments are believed to be old or have a disability.