Final verdict: 5 years jail for organizer of deadly party at Taiwan water park

An explosion of colored dust resulted in 15 deaths and more than 400 injured

  2022
The scene after the June 27, 2015 colored dust explosion at the Formosa Fun Coast water park in New Taipei City.

The scene after the June 27, 2015 colored dust explosion at the Formosa Fun Coast water park in New Taipei City. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The organizer of the colored dust party at a New Taipei City water park which led to 15 people killed and more than 400 injured will face the maximum sentence of five years in prison following the Supreme Court’s rejection of his final appeal Wednesday.

On June 27, 2015, the Formosa Fun Coast water park (八仙樂園) in the district of Bali was the scene of a party organized by a company headed by Lu Chung-chi (呂忠吉). During the “Color Play Asia” event, colored dust was thrown into the air over the heads of partygoers, but heat from the lighting turned it into a fireball, eventually resulting in the deaths of 15 people, with 358 sustaining grave injuries and 113 slightly injured.

The Taiwan High Court sentenced Lu to the maximum of five years in prison and a fine of NT$90,000 (US$2,900) for negligent manslaughter, but the manager appealed to the Supreme Court. On Wednesday, the latter court issued a statement rejecting the appeal, the Central News Agency reported.

The High Court had said Lu had been well aware that the colored dust used at the event was inflammable, but had never bothered to inform his staff of the fact and had not taken the necessary measures to prevent the powder from coming into contact with the lighting.

The 15 fatalities were mostly young partygoers who died in hospital over a space of several months following the disaster.

Critics of the incident expressed anger that two subsequent investigations found insufficient cause to file charges against the management of the water park.