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Taiwan cops: Nursing home resident set deadly fire

Tainan Fire Department via EPA

Police investigators inspect a burnt-out nursing home inside the Hsinyin Hospital in Tainan City, southern Taiwan, on October 23, 2012.

Tainan Fire Department via EPA

A patient being loaded into an ambulance car following an early-morning fire at the nursing home in Hsinyin Hospital in Tainan City, southern Taiwan, 23 October 2012.

Updated at 10.39 a.m. ET — Police in Taiwan said a nursing home resident confessed to an early morning fire that ripped through the facility Tuesday, killing 12 people and injuring 60, many of them too weak to get out of their beds to escape.

Police did not identify the suspect, but Taiwanese television stations reported that he set the 3 a.m. fire because he was unhappy about his own protracted illness.

Smoke inhalation was identified as the cause of the 12 deaths, with many of the patients in the unit thought to be immobile and under intensive care. Firefighters evacuated elderly patients using blankets and rescue cranes while nurses tried to resuscitate some patients on a grassy field outside the hospital.  

-- The Associated Press and The European Pressphoto Agency contributed to this report

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