Taiwan water park fire: 1 dead, 500 injured

Taiwan, June 29: A young woman died on Monday, the first fatality among nearly 500 casualties from a weekend blaze at a Taiwan water park, officials said.
Investigations are being conducted on the colored powder that rained fire as it was sprayed over revelers from a stage.

According to official sources, more than 200 of those being treated after Saturdays fire at the Formosa Fun Coast water park in New Taipei City remained in a serious condition.

A 20-year-old woman succumbed on Monday afternoon after suffering second degree burns on over 90 percent of her body, health authorities said.

Investigators were seeking a reason why the corn flour mix of colored powder combusted after being sprayed over the partygoers from a machine mounted on a stage.

"The source of the heat is still under investigation," said Kevin Lo, an official with the city fire department. "The powder itself is not considered a dangerous good."

Investigators are looking at three main possibilities: cigarette an ember, a lighter or electrical sparks, Lo told to media on Monday.

The municipal government for New Taipei City, which surrounds the capital Taipei, said that the water park had violated regulations by not applying for the required permission to host the party.

The event organizer Lu Chung-chi was detained by police, questioned and released on bail. The local prosecutors office was unavailable to comment on the case.

On live television on Sunday, Lu apologized on his knees to the public for the incident. The president of the water park also apologized on Monday.

"We rented it out like you rent a house. You dont expect something like this to happen," water park president Chen Hui-ying said.


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