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President to bring back U.S. experts to help treat burn victims

President to bring back U.S. experts to help treat burn victims

Los Angeles, July 16 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou announced Thursday that five burn experts from Johns Hopkins University in the United States will accompany him to Taiwan on his return flight to support medical treatment for the victims of a dust explosion at a water park in New Taipei last month. The experts from the top research university will assist local medical staff, who are urgently short of manpower in the wake of the incident, Ma said in a meeting with Taiwanese expatriates in Los Angeles. Nearly 500 people were injured when the explosion and flash fire occurred at a party at Formosa Fun Coast water park on June 27 and 185 of them remained in critical condition as of Thursday. Another 251 are being treated in intensive care units. Seven of the victims have died of their injuries and complications. The president flew to the city in southern California earlier in the day for a transit stop en route back to Taiwan, after concluding a visit to three of Taiwan's allies in the Caribbean and Central America. During the trip, Ma expressed concern about the condition of the injured, while Taiwanese foreign affairs officials have been in contact with the U.S., seeking assistance. The five burn experts had been scheduled to take separate flights to Taiwan Friday, but Taiwan's Representative Office to the United States rearranged their schedules so that they could fly with Ma on his chartered flight and provide aid earlier than planned. During his Los Angeles stopover, Ma told Taiwanese expatriates there that Taiwan has maintained good relations with the United States, Japan and China during the past seven years. "I hope that the current policy can be maintained in the future, allowing it to continue to benefit the people of our country," Ma said. Taiwan will hold its next presidential election next January and Ma is due to step down after serving two four-year terms. Ma is due back in Taiwan late Saturday.
(By Oscar Wu, Kelvin Huang and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-20 09:45 GMT+08:00