Over 200 people were injured, over 90 of them seriously, in an explosion at a water park outside Taiwan’s capital Taipei Saturday after coloured powder being sprayed onto a crowd ignited, officials said.
Video of crowds dancing as music played and clouds of powder being sprayed out which suddenly turned into a ball of fire that tore through the spectators.
Terrified partygoers were then shown running for their lives, screaming, as they were overtaken by flames.
As ambulance crews struggled to reach the site, victims were carried away on rubber rings and inflatable dinghies as friends desperately tried to get them out.
Bystanders poured bottles of water on the scorched skin of the victims still at the scene.
Around 1,000 spectators had been at the Color Play Asia event at the Formosa Fun Coast waterpark, just outside the capital Taipei, according to officials.
Authorities said 229 had been hospitalised with 97 seriously hurt.
Media reports said some victims had suffered burns to more than 40 per cent of their bodies.
A doctor treating 41 victims at one hospital in Taipei said 17 of them were “seriously burned”.
“They all had respiratory system damage,” he 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,” said a spokesman for the New Taipei City fire department.
Officials said that ambulances had found it difficult to get near to the site and had to send in emergency workers with stretchers.
“We feel sad and regretful about the accident, Also, I’ve ordered the park to shut down immediately and be placed under a rigorous investigation” said New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu who was reported as saying it was the municipality’s worst ever incident of mass injury.
Watch the video here!