Huan Nan Zonghe Market, Taipei. Photo: Google Maps
Huan Nan Zonghe Market, Taipei. Photo: Google Maps

A migrant worker of Vietnamese origin who had been overstaying in Taipei died in an accident on Tuesday while hiding from what he thought would be an immigration raid, but which was later identified as a false alarm.

Late that evening, the 26-year-old worker surnamed Gao was chatting with several other migrant laborers in Huan Nan Zonghe Market, a poultry market where he had worked for three years, United Daily News reported on Thursday.

When they heard that immigration officers would arrive soon to detain illegal workers, they all hid in different places.

Gao hid in an elevator shaft but was accidentally hit on the chest by a heavy counterweight. He was found dead by people using the elevator, who called the police.

Police later found that no immigration officers had come to the area.

Gao came to Taiwan in 2013 to study at a private college in New Taipei City and applied for a work visa, which expired in February 2014. He had been working illegally in Taiwan since then.

His employer said he did not know Gao had overstayed. He said Gao had used his high-school certificate to apply for a job in the poultry market.