Months after water park fire, 15th burn victim dies

11/29/2015 05:15 PM
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(From the footage taken during the Color Play Party)
(From the footage taken during the Color Play Party)

Taipei, Nov. 29 (CNA) A 21-year-old woman died Sunday of severe burns and complications five months after she was injured in a flash fire at a New Taipei water park.

Wu Wen-chi's (吳玟錡) passing brings the death toll from the June 27 fire to 15, most of them in their early 20s.

Wu, one of 500-plus victims of the fire, suffered burns to 87.5 percent of her body and had skin and tissue surgery the day after she was injured, said Taipei Veterans General Hospital, where she was treated.

Over the following months, however, she developed multiple complications, including septic shock and adult respiratory distress syndrome, the hospital said.

On Aug. 15, it said, Wu was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a machine that functions like an artificial lung.

Doctors performed cardiac surgery on Nov. 28 after the patient went into heart failure, but she subsequently suffered septic shock and multiple organ failure, the hospital said.

Wu was released from hospital in critical condition at 2:30 a.m. Sunday and died at 3:36 a.m. at her home after the endotracheal tube was removed, according to the hospital.

She was the 15th person to have died since the June 27 incident at Formosa Fun Coast Water Park (八仙樂園) in New Taipei.

The fire erupted when a colored cornstarch powder that was being used for party effects exploded.

Some 500 people, most of them in their teens and early 20s, were injured in the fire.

Taipei Veterans General Hospital said it had treated 43 victims, six of whom had sustained burns to more than 80 percent of their bodies.

Six of the 43 burn victims are still hospitalized but are improving, the hospital said.

(By Claire Chen and Jeffrey Wu) ENDITEM/pc

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