Asia Briefs: Six die in Taiwan's nursing home fire

Six die in Taiwan's nursing home fire

TAIPEI • A fire that tore through a nursing home killed six people and injured another 28 in Taiwan yesterday.

Television footage showed elderly people being evacuated, some in clothes blackened by smoke.

Bodies were found in the private nursing facility on the eighth floor of a 10-storey building in Xindian, New Taipei City, while rescuers rushed 31 people to hospital.

The fire broke out at around 7am and was put out in around 30 minutes, but the evacuation process was made difficult by the fact that most of the elderly residents were wheelchair-bound or bedridden, the city's fire department said.

The authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.


Top cops deny helping Philippine drug rings

MANILA • Incumbent and former police generals named by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as alleged protectors of drug lords have denied the accusations hurled against them.

In separate media interviews, four of the five top police officials named by the President denied alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade or the protection of drug syndicates.

Two of the officials vowed to submit themselves to the authorities for proper investigation so that they can clear their names.


Hebei pledges to clean up pollution

SHANGHAI • Hebei province in northern China, home to seven of the country's 10 smoggiest cities, has pledged to redouble its efforts to tackle hazardous pollution.

This follows an Environment Ministry report in May accusing the province of failing to rein in law-breaking industries.

Hebei surrounds the capital Beijing and is responsible for about a quarter of China's total steel output.

The Hebei government said on Tuesday that it would set up an implementation team to rectify the problems highlighted in the report.

It promised to dismiss and punish local government officials responsible for illegal steel production and step up efforts to replace the consumption of coal with cleaner natural gas.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe