Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Bali inferno families demand NT$12m

By Peng Wan-hsin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tuan Yi-kang, third left, lawyer Lin Yung-sung, fourth right, and family members of victims killed in the Formosa Fun Coast blast in 2015 yesterday demand state compensation at a news conference in Taipei.

Photo: Peng Wan-hsin, Taipei Times

The families of victims of the Formosa Fun Coast (八仙海岸) water park inferno in New Taipei City’s Bali District (八里) in 2015 yesterday demanded NT$12 million (US$397,614) compensation from the state for each deceased individual, amid what they said was a continued lack of municipal action regarding compensation.

Fifteen people died and 508 were injured when colored powder sprayed over the crowd at a “Color Play Asia” event ignited on June 27, 2015.

Accompanied by lawyer Lin Yung-sung (林永頌), who represents the families of 10 victims, the mother of Liu Chih-wei (劉至葦), one of the deceased, said that insurance for visitors to the theme park could not be utilized because the park’s manager had not been indicted.

The victims have not received any compensation, Lin said.

The government should not be a tool of corporations, he said, adding that the demand for state compensation is an effort to make relevant government agencies shoulder their responsibility.

Lin cited a Control Yuan report stating that the New Taipei City government and the Tourism Bureau had grossly mishandled the incident.

The bureau has not ordered the park to close or fined it, despite the park holding unauthorized functions, including the one where colored powder exploded, the Control Yuan report said.

The New Taipei City Government has not conducted any inspections on preventive measures at the park, the report said.

The municipal government’s insistence that it has no responsibility for the explosion is causing the families more pain, Lin said.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) called on Premier William Lai (賴清德) to assume responsibility on behalf of the government.

In the two-and-a-half years since the incident, we have seen no action taken to compensate the victims by the municipal or central governments, Tuan said.

Tuan accused New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) of doing nothing, despite promising to help the bereaved families.

In public disasters, such as the Kaohsiung gas pipeline explosions in 2014 or the collapse of the Weiguan Jinlong building in Tainan’s Yongkang District (永康) last year, the municipal governments took the lead in negotiating — or paying — compensation, Tuan said, adding that New Taipei City should shoulder its responsibility.

The explosions in Kaohsiung’s Cianjhen (前鎮) and Lingya (苓雅) districts began shortly before midnight on July 31, 2014, killing 30 people and injuring 310.

The Weiguan Jinlong building collapsed following an earthquake on Feb. 6 last year, killing 115 people and injuring 96.

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