Hualien prosecutors yesterday detained the developer of the Yun Men Tsui Ti commercial and residential complex that partially collapsed on Feb. 6 in a magnitude 6.0 earthquake, killing 14 people.
Prosecutors requested Liu Ying-lin be detained on suspicion of negligent homicide after they questioned him, the architect and the civil engineer responsible for the project, as well as business owners who operated the A-Kuan hot pot restaurant and the Beauty Inn hotel in the complex.
Liu was not licensed to work on a construction project, prosecutors said, adding that the 12-story complex was jerry-built, which significantly lowered its earthquake resistance and strength.
Meanwhile, the architect and business operators were released on bail of between NT$300,000 and NT$500,000 pending further inquiries, and have been prohibited from leaving the nation.
The owner of the hot pot restaurant on the structure’s ground floor, and the owner of the hotel which occupied the second and third floors, are suspected of making modifications to the interiors of their properties, which prosecutors suspect could have contributed to the partial collapse of the building complex.
The building was among four that partially collapsed in the Hualien earthquake, which killed 17 people and injured at least 290.
Of the 17 deaths caused by the earthquake, 14 were in the Yun Men Tsui Ti building.