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Organiser of event in Taiwan where 15 were killed by powder explosion receives jail sentence

26 April 2016

The organiser of a party where an explosion in a Taiwan waterpark left 15 dead and 500 injured, 200 seriously, was found guilty of negligence on April 26 and jailed for four years and 10 months. Lu Chung-chi, owner of Colour Play Asia, arranged the event at Formosa Fun Coast where coloured corn starch sprayed on partygoers ignited under the heat of stage lights last June and enveloped partygoers in a fireball.

He was found guilty of negligence causing death at Taipei’s Shihlin district court. A press statement from the court released after the verdict said: “Because of the explosion, 15 of them lost their lives and most of the survivors suffer tremendous physical and emotional pain and torment. The explosion happened due to the negligence of the defendant.”

The case has angered grieving relatives and the families of the injured as only Lu was indicted over the disaster. He was one of nine people investigated, including the chairman and president of the water park. The high prosecutors’ office told agencies on April 26 it had ordered a district court to reopen the investigation into the other eight originally investigated.

Almost 500 partygoers were injured in the blast, more than 200 of them seriously. Horrific video footage showed revellers – most of them between 18 and 25-years-old – screaming as they tried to escape.

Some were left with more than 90% burns, in some cases leading to amputations, with many still enduring painful rehabilitation.

An investigation showed the hottest parts of the stage lights hit temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees Celsius, while the powder’s ignition point was just 500 degrees Celsius.

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