The pallet factory in Tainan, Taiwan, where the fire occurred. Photo: Google Maps

Nine Indonesian migrant workers who were rescued from a fire in a factory in Tainan, southwestern Taiwan, on Friday night have received humanitarian aid from a charity and the government.

The blaze broke out at 9pm on July 13 in the pallet factory, which was mainly constructed of galvanized iron sheets, the Liberty Times reported.

With the presence of wood and flammable chemicals in the shed, the fire spread across an area of more than 55 square meters and was not brought under control until around midnight.

More than 50 firefighters and 24 fire engines were deployed. One of the firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion during the rescue operation.

A total of 25 workers, of whom nine were Indonesian migrants, were rescued without injury. However, they all lost their personal belongings, including valuables.

One of the Indonesian men had NT$20,000 (US$650) – money he intended to send home – burned to ashes in the factory’s worker hostel. Initially feeling completely hopeless, he was cheered up by reassuring voices from his wife and children over the phone.

Shortly after the incident, the Tainan First Service Station of the Southern District Brigade of the Immigration Department reissued the migrants’ identification documents and gave each of the workers a bag of humanitarian aid. A local charity group was invited to provide the affected workers with temporary shelter.

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