Explosion injures 200: Taiwan Park Fire

Published: June 28, 2015

Explosion injures 200: Taiwan Park Fire, A fire on a music stage which spread into a crowd of spectators at a Taiwan water park, has left more than 500 people injured, including eight in critical condition, authorities say.

At least five people including park workers and technicians were arrested on Sunday in connection with the accident, according to the South China Morning Post. They may face charges of professional negligence causing serious injuries and endangering the public, police told Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

“They will be transferred to prosecutors for further investigation on charges of offences against public safety and negligence of duties that caused severe injuries,” Yen Po-ren, New Taipei police spokesman, was quoted by AFP news agency as saying.

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

About 1,000 spectators had been at the Color Play Asia event at the Formosa Fun Coast water park, just outside the capital Taipei, according to officials.

The powder for the one-time event ignited along the ground, mainly burning people’s lower bodies, said Wang Wei-sheng, a liaison with the New Taipei City fire department command centre.

“Our initial understanding is this explosion and fire … was caused by the powder spray. It could have been due to the heat of the lights on the stage,” said a spokesperson for the New Taipei City fire department.

Lee Lih-jong, deputy chief of the health bureau of the New Taipei City government, said 509 people had been injured, with 188 of them seriously hurt.

The fire was quickly extinguished, according to authorities.

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