Taiwan Water Park Tragedy Update: First Casualty Reported
Taiwan’s water park tragedy on June 27, which resulted in 498 individuals burnt, has reported its first casualty —20-year-old Pei-yun Lee, whose 90 percent of body suffered second-degree burns, news said.
Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, where Lee had been admitted, said that doctors would be removing her ventilator as soon as her family reached the hospital. Her 12-year-old brother who has just finished elementary education is also being treated in the same hospital. It was reported that 90 percent of his body also sustained burns.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Health said 202 victims are labeled a serious case. Of the victims who attended the annual Color Play Asia party at Formosa Fun Coast Park, 13 of them came from Mainland China, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
The Associated Press says police has recommended lodging criminal charges against the party’s organizer, Chung-chi Lu and two technicians. The three were released after posting bail. Lu went down on his knees and apologized to the public, saying the organizers claimed full responsibility for the incident.
Investigators are probing into why the powder burst into flames. A witness narrated that there were packets containing colored powder being handed out to the party-goers and a huge amount was sprayed among the crowd to display the event’s special effects, but it ended in midair explosion, news said.
“It is still not clear what happened, but there were a number of people smoking and the weather was warm,” said Chieh-yu Lin, head of news department of New Taipei City.
Use Of Colored Powder Not A First Time But Highly Flammable
CNN reports that Color Play Asia, the event organizer, has used colored powder sprayed throughout the party-goers in its previous Taiwan party. The colored powder was prepared using coloring agent and cornstarch.
On its website, Color Play Asia said the colored powder was in compliance with the “relevant standards.”
Vice-President Hui-fang Chou of Tai Won Food Industrial Co, the supplier of colored powder to Color Play Asia, told CNN that their products contained a warning that it is highly flammable and must not be used when the temperature is high or in closed areas.