A dance party at a Taiwan water park took a tragic turn when 519 people were severely injured when colorful powder in the air ignited, setting the air and the people ablaze. The powder was ignited by sparks from nearby machinery or the lighting, causing the horrific explosion.
Of the 519 individuals that were caught in the unexpected blast, 180 are listed as being in intensive care, according to RTE News. Authorities reported that the injured individuals will be monitored over the next few days to ensure their continued safety. Miraculously, no one died from the explosion.
A colorful powder that was released into the air is being blamed for the explosive inferno that swept across the party goers, according to the South China Morning Post. A police spokesperson confirmed the story and shared that over a thousand party goers were present, with nearly half being burnt during the blaze.
“The explosion occurred when a large volume of unknown coloured powder spewed out into the air at an open stage in the Formosa water park, [which] caught on fire at around 8.30 pm.”
The burn victims were rushed to 37 local hospitals in hopes of saving them from further injury, although many were seen with skin peeling from their bodies. Many of the most severe victims received burns within their respiratory system from breathing in the flammable powder, according to Lee Lih-jong of the Taipei health department.
“The reason why the burns were so severe was that in addition to burns to the skin, there were also injuries caused by burns to the respiratory organs from the large amount of colour powder inhaled.”
The video below shows the party goers having fun and dancing until the colorful powder was released into the air. At that point, the flash of flame can be seen erupting into a full blown inferno as the people run for their lives away from the flames.
Until the situation can be investigated further, the use of the color powder is forbidden in China. So far, five people have been arrested in connection with the inferno, including event manager Lu Chung-chi. Charges include offenses against public safety, and negligence of duties that caused severe injuries.
Many of the burns covered over 40 percent of the victims’ bodies, although two women were reported to have had burns over 80 percent of their bodies.
Colour Play Asia has been hosting the color parties for nearly two years. This was the first event that ended in tragedy.
[Photo Courtesy: Hurriyet Daily News]