Taipei, June 28 (CNA)
A visiting senior Chinese official took time out of his schedule Sunday to visit two Chinese students being treated in hospitals for burns they sustained in a dust explosion at a party in New Taipei the previous day.
Zheng Lizhong, vice president of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), called on the students, one of whom is being treated at Mackay Memorial Hospital's Tamsui branch, while the other was admitted to Taipei Medical University Hospital.
Zheng arrived in Taiwan last week as part of a Chinese trade and economic delegation that had toured various cities and counties around Taiwan before heading to Taipei earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Vice Chairwoman Shih Hui-fen also visited the two Chinese victims of the explosion that injured some 500 people at a water park in New Taipei, and asked the physicians in charge to take good care of the Chinese patients.
The SEF said that after the injured students' family members arrive in Taiwan, the foundation and its Chinese counterpart, ARATS, will assist them in handling related matters. The SEF and ARATS are intermediary institutes established to handle exchanges between the two sides of the strait in the absence of formal ties.
The two Chinese students were identified as 24-year-old Chen Lingdan and Zhuang Chujun, 23.
Four people from Hong Kong and one from Macau are also among the injured in Saturday's explosion, according to the SEF.
While some family members of the local injured people had complained that no government officials had visited them in the wake of the accident, Chen Pei-chi, wife of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, said on her Facebook post Sunday that Ko was undecided the previous night whether or not to visit the injured at hospitals.
After long consideration, Ko decided not to make any visits at a time when all the hospital staff were at full stretch coping with the influx of injured partygoers. Instead, he concentrated his efforts on mobilizing all Taipei's medical resources for the rescue mission, Chen said.
Before being elected mayor, Ko was an attending physician and chairman of the Department of Traumatology at National Taiwan University Hospital, one of Taiwan's top medical centers. Chen is a pediatrician. (By Chou Yi, Kun Chuan, S.C. Chang and Elizabeth Hsu)
Taipei, June 28 (CNA)