Flames engulf the residential tower in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
© AP
Flames engulf the residential tower in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
At least 46 people have been killed and dozens injured after a fire broke out in a 13-storey residential building in southern Taiwan.

The "extremely fierce" blaze erupted at around 3am and destroyed several floors of the tower in the city of Kaohsiung.

The fire was extinguished around dawn and firefighters were still going through the building, Kaohsiung fire chief Lee Ching-hsiu said, adding that the number of dead could rise.



An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire, including whether it was started deliberately.

Earlier, officials said 55 people had been taken to hospital. Of those, 14 showed no signs of life.

At least 11 people found at the scene went straight to the morgue, the head of the fire department said.

Eyewitnesses told local media they heard the sound of an explosion at around 3am.