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Tainan hospital fire death toll rises to 13

TAIPEI -- A 77-year-old patient who was injured in a pre-dawn fire at a government-run hospital in Southern Taiwan earlier this week died Friday, bringing the death toll from the incident to 13, according to a Sinying Hospital spokesman.

The latest victim of the blaze, which gutted a long-term care ward at Singying Hospital's Beimen branch in a rural part of Tainan in the early hours of Oct. 23, died at the Chi Mei Foundation Hospital's Chiali branch, the spokesman said.

The victim, identified as Tsai Chiu Yu-chi, was not breathing and had no heartbeat when she was taken to Chi Mei hospital, the spokesman said.

“Although she resumed breathing at one point after receiving emergency treatment, she succumbed to respiratory failure,” said the spokesman.

Her death could be related to the effects of smoke inhalation, but the exact cause is still pending further investigation, he added.

The fire killed four patients at the scene, while another eight died on the way to nearby hospitals.

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