AUGUST 28 2015 12:58h

Report: Lighting system linked to Taiwan water park explosion

Lighting system tipped as possible reason for Taiwan park fire




Taipei (dpa) – The fatal explosion of coloured dust at a Taiwan water park could have been caused by the dust catching fire from a hot light, according to a fire department report leaked Friday.

Coloured cornstarch powder pumped into the air at a dance party caught fire and exploded at Formosa Water Park in New Taipei on June 27, injuring hundreds, including 11 who later died.

An investigation by New Taipei's fire brigade suggested that some of the powder came into contact with a powerful light placed on the stage, possibly triggering the explosion, the Liberty Times reported.

The light's temperature was believed to exceed 400 degrees Celsius, with the ignition point of the powder around 430 degrees, it said.

New Taipei City officials Friday said they had received the report but declined to comment on the contents.

"Prosecutors will take it into account and complete the investigation as soon as possible," Shilin District Prosecutors' Office spokeswoman Su Pei-yu told dpa.

Observers have speculated the powder was likely ignited by a spark from electrical equipment, or hot lighting rigs, but authorities have so far declined to comment on the theories.

Chang Chih-Ying, the mother of an injured partygoer, told dpa Friday that many affected people and their families were disappointed by the slow investigation.

“It's incredibly slow. It's been two months. We hope the government will give us an answer as soon as possible,” Chang said.

Her son Sean Chang, 25, suffered third-degree burns on 50 per cent of his body. He has undergone eight operations and remains hospitalized.

The accident injured about 500 people. As of August 27, 208 people were still in hospital.

Among them, 78 remain under intensive care, including 42 in critical condition, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. 


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