A man has been arrested and held on suspicion of starting a fire at a hospital in Taiwan that killed 12 people and injured 60, a prosecutor said yesterday.
The blaze erupted early on Tuesday at the Beimen nursing home on the second floor of the hospital in southern Tainan city. Its 115 patients included people in their 90s, many bedridden. Several were left to escape on their own the dense smoke that filled the building.
The 67-year-old, a patient at the hospital, said he had lit tissue paper and threw them into a storage room full of clothes, said prosecutor Tseng Chao-kai.
The suspect said he was feeling upset because he had been suffering from serious illness, the prosecutor said, adding that an initial evaluation found that he did not appear to be mentally ill. Tseng said th suspect was found by police several hours after the fire in an empty building near the hospital with a lighter in his pocket and was later arrested after questioning. He would face murder and arson charges if his statement proved to be true.