Hundreds Hurt in Taiwan Park Blast

Hundreds Hurt in Taiwan Park BlastHundreds Hurt in Taiwan Park Blast

More than 500 people, many of them seriously burned, were rushed to hospitals on Sunday after a fire spread into a crowd of spectators at a music festival at a Taiwan water park, authorities said.

Six foreigners and seven visitors from Hong Kong, China and Macau were among those injured after about 1,000 people at Saturday’s event were sprayed with the powder, as a special feature of a festival also held in previous years, Reuters reported.

The blaze, which broke out around 8.30 p.m. local time at the Formosa Fun Coast water park on the outskirts of the capital, Taipei, is suspected to have been caused by an explosion of the colored powder, local government officials said.

Authorities have banned the use of the powder until the investigation is completed and its safety can be assured.

In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, rescuers treated hundreds of people, most of them aged between 20 and 30.

A video posted online showed people in front of the stage engulfed in clouds of colored powder a moment before a fireball erupted, followed by pockets of flame, triggering panic and screams.

No death was reported, but victims suffered burns on limbs and torsos, with some passing out from the pain while others had burned clothes stuck to their skin, media reports and pictures showed.

Soldiers, army vehicles and medical services joined the rescue effort, while hospitals in four municipal precincts, along with Taipei, are treating sufferers.

The amusement park had been closed temporarily, it said on its website on Sunday.