Spectators harmed by Taiwan holiday fireworks

Spectators harmed by Taiwan holiday fireworks

TAIPEI - A Double Tenth Day celebration took a turn for the worse yesterday, when several spectators were injured at a fireworks spectacular in Hsinchu, according to news reports.

Approximately 10 spectators were injured at a fireworks show by falling fireworks casings, which struck the unsuspecting spectators as they tumbled from the sky. Medical personnel evacuated and hospitalized two individuals who sustained more severe injuries, while eight suffered only minor injuries.

According to reports, the fireworks employed casings made from rigid corrugated cardboard, which, when falling at a tremendous velocity, may cause severe blunt force trauma injuries.

In addition, much of the falling debris was still ablaze, causing burns on some individuals listed among the injured.

The fireworks display in Hsinchu was launched from a floating platform set up on waters adjacent to a port. In the autumn season, the wind usually blows in a northeasterly direction, compelling spectators to congregate at the port's northwestern and southeastern sides for the best view. Reports indicate that, contrary to the spectators' expectations, a sudden shift in wind direction reversed the trajectory of the fireworks' fallout back to where the spectators had congregated.

Event organizers and governing bodies have since demanded a full investigation to determine whether safety measures were inadequate, according to reports.

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