, Taipei, Jun 28 – Witnesses described the scene at a Taiwan water park as “hell” after a ball of fire ripped through a crowd, with authorities putting the number of injured at more than 500 on Sunday, almost 200 of them seriously.
The number of those injured in the blast late Saturday, which came as coloured powder being sprayed on the partygoers ignited, more than doubled as authorities began to track down victims who had taken themselves to hospital or been ferried there by others.
Horrifying amateur video footage showed crowds of young revellers dancing in front of a stage and cheering as clouds of green and yellow powder covered them at the “colour party”.
But their joy turned to terror when the powder suddenly erupted into flames engulfing them in an inferno as they ran screaming for their lives.
Some were dressed only in swimwear and images from the scene show many with severe burns being tended by those who escaped.
One male student who sustained minor injuries described the scene as “hell”.
“There was blood everywhere, including in the pool where lots of the injured were soaking themselves for relief from the pain,” he told reporters.
His visibly shaken girlfriend added: “I saw lots of people whose skin was gone.”
Ambulances had struggled to reach the scene, and victims were carried away on rubber rings and inflatable dinghies as friends desperately tried to get them out.