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Friday, October 16, 2015, 13:31

Organizer indicted over Taiwan party fire that killed 12

By Associated Press

Organizer indicted over Taiwan party fire that killed 12
This frame grab from video footage provided by Apple Daily from reader Miss Huang on June 28, 2015 shows revelers being engulfed by flames at the Formosa Fun Coast water park in Pali district, in New Taipei City, on June 27, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / APPLE DAILY / MISS HUANG)

BEIJING — The organizer of a party at a theme park in Taiwan at which 12 people were killed and hundreds injured by exploding powder was indicted Friday on charges including negligent homicide.

The indictment recommends a heavy sentence for Lu Chung-chi if convicted over the July 27 disaster at the Formosa Fun Coast park in a suburb of the island's capital, Taipei. The charges in the indictment also include causing injury and serious injury through professional negligence.

Lu was arrested soon after the incident at the "Color Play Asia" party and has apologized and accepted responsibility for his role in the deaths and injuries.

The starchy colored powder was blasted into the crowd during a hot day and ignited by what investigators believe may have been a spark or cigarette. Its Taiwanese manufacturer said it had no knowledge of its intended use and said it posed a risk of igniting if densely applied at high temperature.

The park was ordered closed after the disaster and the island's premier banned the use of such powder at all future events.

The roughly 500 injured also included victims from Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China and the US.

In recent years, "color runs" and "color parties" have grown popular in many countries, inspired by the use of such powder by revelers during the annual Holi celebrations in India and Nepal, a Hindu festival.

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