Sat, Aug 22, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Cause of park explosion still under review

FORMOSA FUN COAST:The New Taipei City Government is still waiting for a final assessment report on the cause of the explosion at the park, a deputy mayor said

By Lai Hsiao-tung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The New Taipei City Prosecutors’ Office has ruled out several possible causes for the dust explosion at the Formosa Fun Coast (八仙海岸) water park nearly two months ago, but its conclusion on the cause is still pending official reports from the city government, New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said yesterday.

The explosion happened in May, killing 11 people and injuring 488.

According to media reports, the minimum ignition temperature for the colored dust powder is 430°C and after repeated testing, the office ruled out cigarettes, static electricity and other causes as potential sources of ignition.

The reports point to the beam lights often used at parties as the likely source of the ignition, saying that the lights were the closest possible source to the original site of ignition — the west end of the stage — and that the bulbs used in the lights could have reached temperatures of up to 450°C due to prolonged use.

Hou said the disaster report has not yet been finalized and was still being looked into by prosecutors and the fire investigation division of the city’s Fire Department.

The city government is still waiting for the assessment report, Hou said.

When asked about the possibility that the Formosa Fun Coast may seek to absolve itself of responsibility over the issue because the powder and lighting were all provided by Lu Chung-chi (呂忠吉), the head organizer of the Color Play (玩色創意) event, Hou said that is pending investigation.

The questions were due to Hou’s repeated comments that the park should not expect to escape from the incident unscathed.

Meanwhile, addressing the concerns of family members that it might be difficult to ask for reparations due to a lack of certainty over who is responsible for the incident, Hou said that the city government is looking into the incident, along with the prosecutors’ office.

Hou said the government would do its best to determine who is responsible and that it would not let anyone who is criminally responsible off the hook.

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