A temporary worker at Carrefour’s warehouse in Yangmei District in Taoyuan was indicted Friday for negligently setting fire to the facility in March, according to local prosecutors.
Security camera footage showed that the worker, a 23-year-old man surnamed Hsu (許), was smoking at 6:58 a.m. and 7:07 a.m. near stacks of pallets at the Carrefour Yangmei Logistics and Distribution Center on March 14, the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office said in a statement Friday.
According to the footage, a pallet caught fire at 7:16 a.m., and the fire spread and destroyed 12,000 square meters of the 70,000-square-meter warehouse, prosecutors said.
All of the more than 100 workers at the warehouse were safely evacuated, and the fire was put out that afternoon.
Hsu admitted during the investigation that he was smoking but said he could not remember whether he put out the cigarettes afterwards, prosecutors said.
Because Hsu was the only person who was smoking close to where the fire started just a few minutes earlier, the prosecutors said they determined that the fire was caused by cigarette butts he left at the location.
According to prosecutors, Hsu was indicted for negligently setting fire to and destroying part of the warehouse because he discarded cigarette butts around flammable objects, leading to the fire that shut down the facility, which was opened in July 2021 as Carrefour’s largest model warehouse in Asia.
At a press event in Taipei on Oct. 28, Carrefour Taiwan president Lawrence Wang (王俊超) told reporters that the warehouse in Yangmei remained closed, affecting the retailer’s expansion plans.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel