Rescuers continued searching for a fifth day for dozens of people thought to still be missing in southern Taiwan after a weekend earthquake left at least 55 people dead.
National Fire Agency figures indicated Thursday that 83 were trapped in a 16-story building that collapsed in Tainan city where all but two of the fatalities were found, according to the official Central News Agency.
While no survivors from Saturday’s magnitude 6.4 tremor have been found since Monday, the death toll from the Weiguan Jinlong apartment complex in Yongkong district has continued to rise.
Among the latest bodies to be recovered were those of a man and a woman believed to be a married couple, Tsai Min-chou and Lee Hsin-hsuan.
The Taiwan-based China Post quoted Tsai's father as saying, “I have cried so much [since Saturday] that I don't have any more tears."
He promised to look after his orphaned grandson.
The newspaper also reported that a couple, both university students, were also found Wednesday “locked in an embrace”.
Earlier this week, police arrested three executives of a defunct construction firm that built the high-rise, after prosecutors sought their detention on charges of professional negligence resulting in death.
They were taken into custody to prevent collusion that could result in false testimonies.
Premier Simon Chang ordered Wednesday that government agencies fly flags at half-mast in commemoration of the victims next Monday after the Lunar New Year holiday.
The declaration came as he visited survivors receiving treatment at National Cheng Kung University Hospital, the official Central News Agency reported.
Among those he visited was Lee Tsung-tian, who was trapped for 56 hours before being rescued Monday.
Lee, part of whose left leg had to be amputated due to the death of muscle from lack of blood, lost his girlfriend and three relatives when the Weiguan Jinlong complex collapsed, while three others were reported missing.
Chang also announced that families of each victim would receive NT$1 million ($29,913) from the government in "condolence money".
Around 10 buildings collapsed in Tainan after the pre-dawn earthquake Saturday, and more than 540 people sustained injuries.
Meanwhile, Tainan's Public Works Bureau revealed that 50 buildings were identified as dangerous Wednesday after authorities launched inspections when concerned residents filed around 200 requests.
Of the total, "red" labels were issued to 31 structures, which must be demolished or reinforced at once.
In 1999, Taiwan’s south and central regions were hit be a magnitude 7.3 earthquake that killed more than 2,400 people.