At the Formosa Water Park in Taiwan on June 27, 2015,
colored powder was released into the air to create a visual effect near a
performance stage as part of the Color Play Asia event. Nearly 1,000 people were around the stage when
the colored powder ignited causing a fireball that injured 524 people with over
200 critically injured. The injured included travelers from Japan, Europe,
Malaysia, Singapore and China.
The Taiwanese President stated that those affected will
receive compensation, and the government has banned both the event organizer and
the event technician from leaving the country.
It appears that the colored powder, once released, created a
combustible dust cloud. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) defines combustible dust as "a solid material composed of distinct
particles or pieces, regardless of size, shape, or chemical composition, which
presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other
oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations."
Combustible dusts can be created from things such as sugar,
flour, grain, wood, plastics, coal, sulphur and metals. When these types of material are finely ground
into very small particles and dispersed into the air they can burn very rapidly
in the form of a large fire ball. If the particles are the right size, in the
right concentration and exposed to an ignition source, there is a high
probability a dust explosion / deflagration could occur. In order to stay safe,
any activity that could potentially create a dust cloud should be investigated
to see if there is a risk of that dust being combustible. This is especially true if there are ignition
sources nearby such as sparks, fire/flames, stoves, kilns, cigarettes or cutting
& welding. In some cases even a static electric discharge can ignite these
Although disasters can't always be avoided, their impact can
be mitigated by planning ahead. To better understand how to prepare for a
and manage an incident, download Preparing for
the Unexpected: Disaster Management Planning for Businesses.
HUB Entertainment has insurance solutions that give you the right
protection for all live event entertainment needs, including risk management planning
to stop tragedies like this from happening.