Taiwan colored powder explosion burned hundreds at a water park on the weekend of June 27th, 2015. Taiwan water park goers were in for a dark surprise as a colored powder, used at many events and celebrations across the Asian world, burst into flames in mid-air and wounded hundreds of people. The blast, which was initially thought to be a part of the special effects by some party goers, soon revealed itself to be a massive accident on a scale that has rarely been seen at an event such as this one. The nightmarish scene was preceded by a typical summer day, with temperatures in Taiwan that reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Hundreds of teenagers attended the party to cool off from the oppressive heat.
The event was called Color Play Asia and was being hosted by the Formosa Fun Coast water park. Teenagers and young adults were crowded around the stage to dance and be entertained by the musical guests that were scheduled to play that day when the Taiwan colored powder exploded.
The colored powder, shot out by machines near the stage, covered the crowd, but something went terribly wrong. A fireball engulfed the crowd of people, and hundreds suffered internal and external burns. Few people could find the escape routes because of the blinding chaos. The organizers of the event said the colored powder used to cover the crowd, made from cornstarch and various chemicals, was also highly flammable.
Authorities are questioning the organizers of the event to see who, if anyone, had intentionally caused the explosion at the water park in Taiwan. The public health department reported on Saturday, 200 people and counting were injured and around 88 people suffered third-degree burns or worse.
The organizers of the event stated that the heat from the lights on the main stage could have ignited the powder, initiating the explosion, as it was thrust into the air. The injured are still being tracked by authorities, as the numbers from hospitals in the area continue to climb into the hundreds.
Water park attendees described a nightmarish scene as the Taiwan colored powder exploded. Attendees reported when the explosion occurred at the main stage inside the water park, people were seen engulfed in flames, screaming and running. The fires were quickly put out, but hundreds of people sought refuge in pools, coloring the water a crimson red.
The injured were carried on the water park’s inflatable rubber tubes to the outside of the park, where they waited for assistance from paramedics. The city was overwhelmed by the amount of people who needed attention; many people had to take taxis to the hospital, or simply wait for medical assistance back at the water park. The hospitals were quickly filling up and an official announcement was issued from authorities stating that all military hospitals were on standby for those affected by the explosion at the water park in Taiwan. Those who did not suffer direct skin burns by the explosion at the water park have reported respiratory damage from breathing in the powdery fumes that saturated the air that day.
Mayor Eric Chu expressed his sadness and regret. He has banned the use of the colored powder, which is used in hundreds of countries throughout Southeast Asia and India. He closed the water park until further notice and called on support from neighboring cities for the use of ambulances and hospital beds. Mayor Chu described the scene as the “worst event of mass injury in the history of Taipei.”
By Stephanie Butler
Channel News Asia : More than 200 injured in explosion at Taiwan water park
ABC : More than 500 injured after fire breaks out following explosion in Taiwan water park
CNN : More than 500 injured in explosion at Taiwan water park
BBC: Taiwan Formosa Water Park injures hundreds
Photo courtesy of Duncan Hill’s Flickr page – Creative Common License