The number of people injured by the fire at an amusement park outside Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, has climbed to 500, according to CNN; almost 200 are in critical condition.
The stage of the Formosa Fun Coast, where a large crowd had gathered, was suddenly and without warning, engulfed in flames. The video of the incident shows a colored powder exploding in the air, a ball of fire forming, and flames eating their way through a stage full of people.
A scene of absolute chaos follows, as the swarming crowd, first baffled by the fire and mistaking it for special effects, begins to understand the situation and run to safety, tripping over others in the process.
Authorities believe that the colored powder thrown at the partying crowd ignited due to the heat of the lights on stage.
Many people's skin scalded. A young woman reports seeing victims whose "skin was gone." Those who were not critically injured sat in the pool to cool their searing skin.
The seriously injured were rushed to the hospitals, but with so many injured, many had to be transported in inflatables instead of ambulances. At least 180 of those present are now in intensive care units.
The incident happened at a time of soaring temperatures in Taiwan, when many had headed to the water park to seek relief from the scorching heat.