Mon, May 05, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Pump at Kaohsiung water park pulls off boy’s fingers

SPECIAL EQUIPMENTA pump that was installed for an opening ceremony at the Blue Lagoon Water Park on Saturday was not turned off after the show

STAFF WRITER

A fifth-grade boy surnamed Liao (廖) had four fingers on his left hand severed on Saturday by a pump at a water park in Kaohsiung City.

The accident occurred at the Blue Lagoon Water Park (布魯樂谷親水樂園), which was scheduled to hold an opening ceremony for a summer event on Saturday.

The Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) reported yesterday that Liao’s left hand was sucked into the water pump placed near a pool.

All the fingers on the child’s left hand were severed, except for the thumb. However, the severed fingers were reattached during more than 10 hours of surgery at the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital.

The most severe damage was found on the little finger and the ring finger.

Doctors had to graft skin from Liao’s leg to cover the wounds.

Liao was then tranfered to intensive care for observation.

CEREMONY

The pump had been placed near a pool to create artificial water spouts for the opening ceremony.

The pump, however, continued operating after the opening ceremony had finished.

Liao’s hand was sucked into a tube attached to the pump and was subsequently crushed.

Neither the water park’s staff nor the pool’s lifeguards were aware of the accident, as it occurred at the back of the performance stage, which was blocked by a large curtain.

Visitors who witnessed the accident were terrified and left the water park immediately afterwards.

Liao was taken to a hospital by his father, who questioned why the water park failed to put a safety net around the water pump to prevent children from getting close to it.

CONTRACTOR

In response, the park said that the pump belonged to a contractor that had been working at the event.

The park’s management said they would do everything possible to assist the family members.

When asked why it had not closed the park down after the accident, the park said that the pump had been a temporary device and there was no need to close the park after they had taken care of the cause of the accident.

The Kaohsiung City Government said it had not found any fault with the park’s facilities before it issued the park its operating license.

The city said it would help Liao’s family seek compensation from the park.

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