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Taiwan Quake leaves at least six dead and hundreds injured

AT LEAST six people were killed and 76 were still missing last night after a major earthquake hit Taiwan’s east coast.

Rescuers worked to free people trapped after the magnitude 6.4 quake collapsed buildings and left others tilted at steep angles.

At least four buildings in worst-hit Hualien county leaned at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, glass, iron and other debris.

Firefighters climbed ladders hoisted against windows to reach residents inside flats.

Rescuers focused on the Yunmen Tsuiti residential building that was tilted at a nearly 45-degree angle, erecting long steel beams to prevent it from collapsing.

Maintenance worker Chen Ming Hui, who was rescued from the basement of the Marshall hotel, where two people died, said: "At first it wasn't that big ... we get this sort of thing all the time and it's really nothing, but then it got really terrifying."

Six mainland Chinese were also injured, the Chinese Communist Party-run People's Daily reported.

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