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Seven people killed in Taipei hotel blaze

world Updated: Mar 02, 2009 18:39 IST

AFP
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Seven people were killed and one critically injured on Monday in the capital city's worst fire in 15 years, police said.

Twenty people were sleeping in a hotel when the four-storey building was engulfed by flames early in the morning, police said.

It took firefighters just 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze but they found seven bodies -- three Malaysian women and four Taiwanese men -- in the scorched building.

Police said they could not immediately identify the three Malaysian victims as their travel documents had been destroyed in the fire.

A 40-year-old man was severely injured after he was forced to jump from the fourth floor and land on a car parked outside the hotel.

Following an initial investigation, police said they suspected arsonists could have been behind the tragedy.

The hotel passed the safety authorities' routine check in January.