Fire Injures More Than 200 People Attending Party at Taiwan Water Park

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Nearly 500 people have been injured, 141 seriously, after a fire on a music stage spread into a crowd of spectators at a party Saturday night at a Taiwan water park, authorities said.

The fire was sparked by an accidental explosion of an unknown powder near the stage in front of about 1,000 people, said Wang Wei-sheng, a liaison with the New Taipei city fire department command centre.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency on Sunday reported 474 had been injured, including 141 in serious condition. It quoted the New Taipei City health bureau. The injured included four mainland Chinese and two foreigners.

A spokesman for the New Taipei City fire department said: “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.”

The fire erupted at the Formosa water park in New Taipei City near the island’s capital and was quickly brought under control.

Video showed rescue workers and bystanders carrying burned and injured people on their backs, in inflatable boats and on stretchers to get medical treatment.
CNA reported witnesses as saying the fire spread quickly after the coloured powder was blown into the air.

One male witness told local news channel CTI: “It started on the left side of the stage. At the beginning, I thought it was part of the special effects of the party but then I realised there was something wrong and people started screaming and running.”

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