More than 225 injured in explosion at Taiwan water park

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NEW TAIPEI, Taiwan — More than 225 people were injured — about 100 of them seriously — after flammable powder apparently exploded in midair at a recreational water park in Taiwan, the East Asian nation’s official Central News Agency reported.

The flames erupted when the unknown substance blew up over a stage around 8:30 p.m. local time on Saturday at Formosa Fun Coast, firefighters said, according to the CNA report.

CNA reported that “the fire was quickly brought under control,” but not before at least 229 people suffered injuries — 97 of them were in serious condition.

Video showed a massive fireball suddenly engulfing the stage, followed by screaming people running for their lives through flames.

Some people used large, inflated inner tubes as stretchers to carry out the injured, CNA reported.

Hours later, most of the injured had been transported to three area hospitals for emergency treatment. Many were still at the park, though, with CNA reporting that on-site first aid stations were opened to provide urgent care.

Calling it the “worst incident of mass injury (ever) in New Taipei,” Taiwan’s most populous city, Mayor Eric Chu called for ambulance support from neighboring Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung. In addition, Taiwanese defense ministry spokesman Luo Shao-he said all military hospitals in northern Taiwan were prepared to take patients.

Formosa Fun Coast indicated the fiery explosion occurred during a “Color Play Asia” party put on by a separate marking company that leased out space at the park.

“We are very regretful (for) this accident that caused injuries to many victims,” Formosa Fun Coast said in a statement. “The most urgent matter currently for us is to handle and assist with … victims on the scene and work comprehensively with the New Taipei Fire Department.”

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