Number counts vary, but it seems over 500 people were injured when a fireball ripped through a crowd of party goers at a water park just outside of Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.
The incident occurred at the Formosa Water Park when a colored powder ignited after it was discharged into the crowd. The footage shows people panicking and screaming, with inflatable water toys being used as stretchers.
Fire injures scores attending party at Taiwan water park:
One-hundred and ninety people have been seriously hurt, with 182 in intensive care. Many had burns to most of their body, with some having respiratory problems after ingesting the powder. The Ministry of Health and Welfare has asked for medical supplies and skin grafts for the hundreds of people that were injured.
A 20-year-old female with burns over 90 percent of her body has died. Her young brother had burns over 80 percent of his body, as both were near the stage when the powder exploded into flames.
With so many injured, the Public Health Department had to send victims to 43 different hospitals. CNA reported that 202 were in critical condition. Most of the victims were Taiwanese, but 13 foreigners were also injured. The majority of the injured foreigners are female. They include residents of Hong Kong, Mainland China, Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Watch the explosion as it happens:
Liu Yeuh-Ping of Taipei’s Department of Health told CNN that while there was ample room for patients in intensive care units, there are not enough spaces in the specialized burn units, so health authorities are trying to move patients in need of intensive burn care.
“The fire came too fast and nobody was able to run,” said witness Huang Guan Zhang, 19. “Everybody was burned… Nobody could save others, and people suffered severe burns.”
According to CNN, after visiting with hospitalized victims, Taiwan’s Premier Mao Chi-Kuo announced a ban on color powder events while the incident is being investigated, according to CNA.
In a video distributed by the government, he said the ban would be in place until color powder can be proved safe. President Ma Ying-Jeou also met with people injured in the fire. He said the Taiwanese government would help the victims, and promised a full investigation.
It was “hell,” a male student who sustained minor injuries said, according to the AFP news agency.
“There was blood everywhere, including in the pool where lots of the injured were soaking themselves for relief from the pain,” His girlfriend added: “I saw lots of people whose skin was gone.”
The fire was quickly brought under control, but the cause of the incident is still under investigation. New Taipei City’s mayor Eric Chu has ordered an immediate shutdown of the water park pending an investigation.