Sunday 30 April 2017

Hundreds burned at Taiwan water park party when fire spreads from stage to spectators

A fire on a music stage spread into a crowd of spectators at a party at a Taiwan water park, injuring more than 500 people, including eight who are in critical condition.

The fire was sparked by an accidental explosion of a coloured theatrical powder thrown from the stage in front of about 1,000 people, the fire agency and local media said.

The powder for the event called Colour Play Asia ignited along the ground, mainly burning people's lower bodies, said Wang Wei-sheng of the New Taipei City fire department command centre.

A total of 516 people were reported to have burn injuries, he said.

Police investigators inspect the stage area after the fire at the Formosa Water Park (AP)
Police investigators inspect the stage area after the fire at the Formosa Water Park (AP)
Injured victims from an accidental explosion during a music concert lie on the ground at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan REUTERS/Chen Bo
A person helps an injured victim from an accidental explosion during a music concert at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan REUTERS/Wang Wei
People carry an injured victim from an accidental explosion during a music concert at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan REUTERS/Chen Bo
People carry an injured victim from an accidental explosion during a music concert at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan REUTERS/Wu Chia

The official injury toll had risen from slightly more than 200 at midnight, because about 300 people had made their own way to hospitals.

Eight people had life-threatening injuries, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency.

The victims included four mainland Chinese and two foreigners. An 18-year-old from Taiwan was burned on 90% of her body.

Injured victims from an accidental explosion during a music concert lie on the ground at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan REUTERS/Wang Wei
Injured victims from an accidental explosion during a music concert lie on the ground at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan REUTERS/Wang Wei
In this screen grab taken from ETTV, ambulances arrive after an accidental explosion during a music concert at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan (ETTV via AP)

Taiwan's Central News Agency reported witnesses as saying the fire at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City spread quickly after powder was blown into the air.

Taiwan premier Mao Chih-kuo today announced a ban on parties that use flammable coloured powder.

The news agency said that police were questioning two park workers who had launched the powder as well as the party's on-site organiser and two technicians. They may face charges of professional negligence causing serious injuries and endangering the public, it said.

The exact cause of the fire is still being investigated.

In this screen grab taken from ETTV, an injured concert spectator is treated after an accidental explosion during a music concert at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan (ETTV via AP)
In this screen grab taken from ETTV, an injured concert spectator is treated after an accidental explosion during a music concert at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan (ETTV via AP)
In this screen grab taken from ETTV, injured concert spectators are treated after an accidental explosion during a music concert at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan (ETTV via AP)

Video showed rescue workers and bystanders carrying burned and injured people on their backs, in inflatable boats and on stretchers to get medical treatment.

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