2 Canadian citizens among the dead in Taiwan earthquake

Rescuers searched Friday in Taiwan in the wake of this week's deadly earthquake for seven people missing. Within hours they found the bodies of two Hong Kong residents who have Canadian citizenship.

12 people have died in the quake, while 5 are believed to be missing

The second of two bodies found Friday is removed from the Yun Tsui building, which is leaning at a precarious angle, in the Taiwanese city of Hualien after the city was hit by a 6.4-magnitude quake on Feb. 6. (Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

Hopes of finding additional survivors from this week's earthquake in Taiwan were fading Friday after two more bodies were found in a partially collapsed hotel and no signs detected of a missing family of five.

Rescuers broke through to a room in the Beauty Inn where the couple — Canadian citizens originally from Hong Kong — were found, Taiwanese broadcasters reported. No signs of life were found, they said.

According to local reports they were each 49 years old.

Global Affairs Canada confirmed to CBC News that two Canadians died as a result of the earthquake and that they are "providing consular assistance to the family." Spokesperson Sujata Raisinghani did not provide names or further details.

The hotel, located on the lower floors of the 12-storey Yunmen Tsuiti building, had almost entirely collapsed. The building itself was leaning at a 45-degree angle, forcing crews to stabilize it with steel beams.

The others missing in the hotel are five members of a family from China, including parents, grandparents and their 12-year-old son.

The Yunmen Tsuiti building was one of several damaged by the magnitude 6.4 temblor that struck Tuesday in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hualien county, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism.

Search effort hampered

The latest search leaves the death toll at 12, which included four tourists from China and a 27-year-old Filipino employed as a household helper. Taiwan's National Fire Agency listed 273 people as injured.

Hundreds of rescuers were on the scene, including a team from Japan deploying cutting-edge equipment that can detect a heartbeat within a 15-metre range.

Taiwanese broadcasters said earlier indications that signs of life had been detected turned out to be false. Efforts to drill into the hotel rooms where the missing were thought to be trapped was made more difficult by the angle of the building's lean and the collapsed state of the interior.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen visited Thursday with people sheltering in schools and other sites as a safeguard against repeated aftershocks.

Taiwan has frequent earthquakes, most of them minor, but a 1999 quake killed more than 2,300 people and was Taiwan's worst recent natural disaster.

Zeena Starbuck was writing in bed in a Taiwanese hostel on Tuesday night when a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck the coastal city of Hualien. 5:30

With files from CBC News