More than 200 people were injured — scores of them seriously — after flammable powder apparently exploded in midair at a recreational water park in Taiwan, the East Asian nation’s official Central News Agency reported.
The flames erupted when the unknown substance blew up over a stage around 8:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. ET) at Formosa Fun Coast, firefighters said, according to the CNA report. The park was then hosting a Color Play Asia party.
The exact cause has not been determined, and police were questioning the head of the park.
The horrific incident at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei occured after a stage caught fire and a flammable power exploded, according to initial reports.
Hundreds of people are said to have been injured, with 83 people believed to have sustained serious wounds.
Several victims reportedly suffered burns on over 40 per cent of their bodies.
Dramatic footage from the scene, which took place 8:30pm Saturday evening local time, shows revellers dancing to music and surrounded by colourful smoke before flames erupt.
CNA reported that “the fire was quickly brought under control,” but not before at least 205 people suffered injuries, 82 of them seriously.
Some people used large swimming tubes as stretchers to carry out the injured, CNA reported.
Hours later, most of the injured had been transported to three area hospitals for emergency treatment. Many were still at the park, though, with CNA reporting that on-site first aid stations were opened to provide urgent care.
Calling it the “worst incident of mass injury (ever) in New Taipei,” Taiwan’s most populous city, Mayor Eric Chu called for ambulance support from neighboring Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung. In addition, Taiwanese defense ministry spokesman Luo Shao-he said all military hospitals in northern Taiwan were prepared to take patients.
Around 1,000 people were said to have been at the park for a colour play festival – where people are sprayed with clouds of coloured powder.
Wang Wei-sheng, a liaison with the New Taipei City fire department command centre, said 83 people suffered serious injuries while 131 others had light injuries.
New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu told said: “We are very sorry about what happened and we will investigate the cause to find out who is responsible.”
“We have demanded the park shut down immediately for inspection.”
The number of injured could rise, local media warned.
The cause of the fire, which was said to have been swiftly brought under control, is being investigated.