Government to set up foundation for burn victims (update)

Taipei, July 2 (CNA) Premier Mao Chi-kuo (???) announced Thursday that the government will establish a foundation to provide long-term care for the victims of the June 27 explosion at a New Taipei water park. The foundation will combine government and private sector resources, but the exact form of the foundation and its funding are still being discussed, Mao said at a press conference. He said the government welcomes suggestions on the issue from all sectors of society. Mao said he would convene the following day the first meeting of an inter-ministerial task force formed in response to the tragedy. In addition to emergency medical assistance, the task force, led by Vice Premier Simon Chang (???), will also assist victims in insurance and compensation claims and protect their other rights, he said. Mao also vowed to get to the bottom of who is ultimately responsible for the accident, and said the Cabinet-level Consumer Protection Committee will assist victims in filing lawsuits and compensation claims. As of Thursday morning, two people had died of their injuries and 428 were still in hospital, 267 of whom were in intensive care units, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. The accident occurred June 27, when colored cornstarch exploded and burst into flames at a Color Play Asia party held in a drained pool at the Formosa Fun Coast Water Park (????) in New Taipei's Bali District. (By Hsieh Chia-chen and Christie Chen)