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500 ravers burnt in Taiwan rave event

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    June 30, 2015 8:34 PM BST

     

    *WARNING (Graphic Video) ‘Color Play Asia' ACCIDENT fire burns about 500 at Taiwan water park

    Hundreds engulfed in flames in Taiwan water park as colored powder explodes, injuring at least 470 at ‘Color Play Asia’ (WARNING: Graphic video)

    A bizarre freak inferno at a Taiwanese water park left at least 470 people reportedly injured Saturday as terrified revelers scrambled for their lives from the fast-moving flames.

    Amateur video shot at the Formosa Water Park indicated the fire erupted as organizers of the “Color Play Asia” event sprayed a colored powder on the crowd of about 1,000 dancers.

    “It started on the left side of the stage,” one witness told a Taiwanese television station. “At the beginning I thought it was part of the special effects of the party.

    “But then I realized there was something wrong and people started screaming and running."

    The red, green and purple powder seemed to burst into flames in mid-air, creating what some reports described as a cloud of fire descending on the crowded dance floor.

    Rescuers used inflatable rafts from the water park to lug the burn victims away from the raging blaze. And many of the victims were clad only in bathing suits, exposing plenty of skin to the flames.

    A photo taken after the event showed charred curtains around the perimeter of the vacant dance floor, along with flip-flops abandoned in the desperate rush for safety.

    Wang Wei-sheng, a liaison with the New Taipei City fire department command center, said 83 people were hospitalized with serious injuries and another 132 suffered lesser injuries.

    “Our initial understanding is this explosion and fire ... was caused by the powder spray,” local fire officials told the BBC. “It could have been due to the heat of the lights on the stage.”

    The pounding club music played on as frantic revelers screamed in terror and ran for safety as the flames scorched the area, a video shows.

    A man is heard repeatedly shouting, “Whoa, whoa,” as he zooms in on the chaos below with his camera.

    Though the blaze spread quickly, the fire was also extinguished in short order. Officials said the cause of the stunning blaze remained under investigation.

    Some victims had burns to more than 40% of their bodies, the Morning Post reported citing the Central News Agency in Taipei.

    Two young women suffered the brunt of the fire with burns to 80% of their bodies when the fire erupted around 10:30 p.m. local time, the paper added.

    Eric Chu, the mayor of New Tapei City, told a news conference that a thorough investigation into the tragedy was planned. The park was immediately shut down as the probe began.