Sican Co Ltd in Luzhu district in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

Six Vietnamese workers were killed and another five injured in a fire at an allegedly illegal iron-sheet building at a company that makes solar window film in Taoyuan in northwestern Taiwan in the early hours of Thursday.

The fire was noted just before 2am on the second floor of the Sican Co Ltd building in Lane 9 off Dayou Street in Luzhu district, Taoyuan, where 12 Vietnamese workers were given accommodation, the China News Service reported.

The 11 workers were sleeping at the time of the blaze, while another man was away, as he had to work overtime in another building.

The fire was not brought under control until about 4:30am, which allowed firefighters to enter and evacuate five conscious workers who suffered burns and smoke inhalation. They were admitted to three different hospitals, and their condition was later reported as stable.

Udn Daily News said the blaze lasted for four hours – until 6:10am, before it was extinguished. Bodies of the six missing Vietnamese workers were recovered later. Yet identification of the deceased was difficult and is still in progress.

Preliminary inquiries suggested the iron-sheet building was an illegal structure without government records. The fire spread over an area of 1,000 square meters, fueled mainly by the firm’s window film and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film.