Out­pour­ing of help for vic­tims of dis­as­ter

The China Post - - LOCAL -

There has been a huge out­pour­ing of sup­port in Tai­wan for the hun­dreds of peo­ple in­jured in an ex­plo­sion and fire at a wa­ter park in New Taipei on Satur­day in the form of cash, blood and le­gal as­sis­tance.

Prac­tic­ing lawyer Lai Fang-yu de­cided to or­ga­nize a vol­un­teer team of lawyers to pro­vide le­gal help to the 500 peo­ple— mostly teenagers and young adults — who were hurt in the dust ex­plo­sion at Formosa Fun Coast Wa­ter Park.

“Watch­ing those kids run­ning around in the fire, my heart broke,” Lai said on her Face­book page Mon­day.

Tai­wan Con­fed­er­a­tion of Trade Unions Pres­i­dent Chuang Chueh-an an­nounced Mon­day a con­tri­bu­tion of NT$100,000 (US$3,229) in cash to a spe­cial ac­count held by New Taipei City Gov­ern­ment’s So­cial Wel­fare Depart­ment for dis­as­ter­re­lief do­na­tions.

Chuang urged mem­bers of the con­fed­er­a­tion to con­trib­ute what they could for the in­jured, who he said face long re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pe­ri­ods ahead that will likely re­quire more re­sources than a sin­gle mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment can pro­vide.

One of the hun­dreds in­jured has since died from se­vere burns and more than 200 oth­ers who suf­fered burns dur­ing the blast were still be­ing treated in in­ten­sive care wards at mul­ti­ple hos­pi­tals as of Mon­day af­ter­noon.

The ac­ci­dent, the worst dis­as­ter of its kind in Tai­wan’s history, re­flects the im­por­tance of keep­ing work­places and com­mer­cial venues safe, Chuang said, and he called on author­i­ties to take fur­ther steps to en­sure oc­cu­pa­tional and public safety.

Cash Do­na­tions

Mean­while, cash do­na­tions were also made by the Petroleum As­so­ci­a­tion of Tai­wan and Want Want Hold­ing Chair­man Tsai Eng-meng, who do­nated NT$5 mil­lion for medi- cal as­sis­tance, ac­cord­ing to the Want Want China Times Group.

The group also en­cour­aged em­ploy­ees to do­nate one day wages to the re­lief ef­fort.

Notebook com­puter man­u­fac­turer Quanta Com­puter Inc. an­nounced Mon­day that it was do­nat­ing NT$10 mil­lion to the cause.

In ad­di­tion to cash do­na­tions, many peo­ple went to do­nate blood on Mon­day af­ter word got out on the In­ter­net that blood could be in short sup­ply when those with the most se­ri­ous burns were op­er­ated on.

There were 120 peo­ple lined up at the Ban­qiao blood do­na­tion sta­tion in New Taipei as of Mon­day noon, and sta­tion chief Lin Kuanchih pre­dicted the num­ber would sur­pass 200 on the day, three times the nor­mal num­ber, ac­cord­ing to its of Ap­ple Daily.

As peo­ple rushed to give blood, how­ever, the Taipei Blood Cen­ter cau­tioned that enough blood had been col­lected for the burn vic­tims and urged peo­ple to do­nate blood on a reg­u­lar ba­sis in the fu­ture rather than en masse now be­cause blood only has a shelf-life of 35 days.

Celebri­ties’ Face­book Pages

Pop­u­lar celebri­ties, in­clud­ing pop singer Jolin Tsai and Ja­panese ac­tor Masatoshi Na­gase, tried to com­fort the in­jured with mes­sages on their Face­book pages.

“My most sin­cere love and bless­ing for Liu and ev­ery pa­tient hurt badly in the dust ex­plo­sion,” Tsai wrote.

The “Liu” she re­ferred to is a 19-year-old male study­ing fash­ion de­sign at Taipei Col­lege of Mar­itime Tech­nol­ogy who suf­fered burns to 90 per­cent of his body.

His mother told the media that Tsai and Tai­wanese Cana­dian fash­ion de­signer Jason Wu are his idols.

Though the tragedy brought out the best in many peo­ple, it also ex­posed the dark side of hu­man­ity.

A 33-year-old man named Wang Liang-kai was sus­pected of us­ing the chaos caused by the fire on Satur­day night to steal money from peo­ple at the “Color Play Asia” party, and he also al­legedly took the mo­bile phone of an in­jured per­son who asked him to call for help.

Wang was ar­rested on theft charges on Sun­day and taken to the Shilin Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice for in­ter­ro­ga­tion. He was re­leased on NT$30,000 bail.

CNA

Vol­un­teers wait to do­nate blood in Greater Kaoh­si­ung, yesterday. Blood do­na­tion sta­tions were hit with a surge of vol­un­teers yesterday, af­ter hun­dreds of peo­ple were in­jured at a wa­ter park on Satur­day.

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