Thu, Dec 13, 2018 - Page 2 News List

Court upholds sentence for Color Play organizer

NO REMORSE:Judicial officials yesterday said that a monitoring mechanism has been initiated to prevent Lu from fleeing, after the Supreme Court rejected his appeal

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Lu Chung-chi arrives at the Taiwan High Court in Taipei on March 20.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the conviction of event organizer Lu Chung-chi (呂忠吉) and said he must serve a five-year sentence for his role in the Formosa Fun Coast (八仙樂園) water park inferno on June 27, 2015, in which 15 people died and 471 were injured.

At about 8pm during a “Color Play Asia” party, the powder being blown in the air caught fire and an explosion ensued, and hundreds of participants, mostly young people aged 18 to 25, sustained burns and other injuries.

The Taiwan High Court in May found Lu guilty of professional negligence causing deaths, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison.

The Supreme Court rejected his appeal for a more lenient sentence.

The High Court ruling also imposed a fine of NT$90,000 (US$2,914) on the 44-year-old Lu, who has to start serving time within a few days of receiving official notification of the Supreme Court ruling.

A monitoring mechanism has been initiated to prevent Lu from fleeing, judicial officials yesterday.

“Lu was the event organizer and had known that the colored starch powder was flammable and presented risks of explosion. However, he did not take any preventive measures, nor did he provide training to staff working at the event,” the High Court ruling read.

Lu did not attend any of the funeral services for the victims and did not visit the families of victims or offer any plans for compensation, which indicated that his public apology was contrived and dishonest, the ruling said.

There are two other separate litigations against Lu still pending in civil courts. They are two class-action lawsuits filed by Taiwan Consumers’ Foundation on behalf of 435 victims, in which they sought a total of NT$9.8 billion in financial compensation.

Twelve victims have also filed individual lawsuits against Lu seeking compensation for their suffering, medical expenses and loss of income on recovery from burn injuries.

Lu was the proprietor of Color Play Co and Juipo International Marketing Co. He rented the Formosa Fun Coast facilities in New Taipei City’s Bali District (八里) to hold the Color Play Asia party.

He had organized similar events prior to the disaster, with Color Play themes for running events and parties where colored starch powder was thrown at participants.

He sold tickets costing several hundred to several thousand New Taiwan dollars for these events.

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