Death toll from water park inferno may rise: doctor

Death toll from water park inferno may rise: doctor

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TAIPEI–The death toll from the June 27 colored powder blast at a New Taipei water park may increase as more than 200 seriously injured people still remain in intensive care units, a doctor warned Saturday.

Society must understand that severe burns and inhalation injuries can easily lead to death, according to Tsai Ming-chung, secretary-general of the Taiwan Medical Association.

Even if they are under the attentive care of healthcare workers, severely burned patients will probably still sucumb to their wounds, he said.

He said the blaze was a very serious accident. Before this, there had never been another country that had experienced a similar dust explosion accident that left more than 500 people burned, with over 200 in intensive care units.

After passing the acute phase in the first week, the patients are entering their second week, which is a peak period for systemic infections, he said.

If the patients can survive through one month, their conditions will become more stable, he said.

According to tallies provided by the Ministry of Health and Welfare Saturday, of the 495 people injured in the searing inferno who were taken to hospitals for treatment, two have died, while 449 remain hospitalized, 276 of whom are being treated in intensive care units.

As of Saturday afternoon, 230 of the patients were in critical condition, the ministry said.