Dust Explosion at Formosa Fun Coast

The unfortunate accident happened at Formosa Fun Coast, Taipei, Taiwan, has cost two lives and almost 500 injured in which 291 needing intensive care.

https://youtu.be/KF9hIR1MyBs

On 27 June 2015 revellers at Formosa Fun Coast was attending a grand party called “Colour Play Asia” inspired from festival of colours “Holi”. During the party, the organizers discharged a cloud of colourful powder over the crowd of more than 1000 people. Upon release of colour powder there was a huge explosion resulting in a massive fireball engulfing the stage. Most victims got severe burns to limbs and torso as the dust caught fire at ground level and rose up. The colour powder was starch based consisting corn starch and food colouring which is prone to fire in higher temperature.

What causes dust explosion?

For dust suspended in air to explode minimum four conditions are needed

  1. Suspended combustible dust
  2. Sufficient concentration of suspended dust
  3. Presence of oxygen in the air
  4. Ignition source

 If the space is confined, then probability of explosion is more.

 On 27th June temperature at Bali District, Taiwan was low 29 deg C and high 35 deg C. ignition source is suspected to be burning cigarettes on the floor. Further investigation say two explosion happened. After the first fireball was exhausted a worker used carbon dioxide fire extinguisher to put off scattered small fire resulting in kicking a storm of dust lying on floor going up into second fiery ball.

Where dust explosions can happen?

Dust explosion can happen wherever combustible dust can rise up and suspend in the air. Example, coal mines, flourmills, sugar factory.

What types of dusts can cause explosion?

Dusts of coal, sugar, starch, grain, milk powder, cocoa, coffee etc. can cause explosion. Likewise, fine metal powders are more prone to dust explosion.

Printer toner can also cause dust explosion.

Many solid dangerous goods may cause generation of dust while in storage and more particularly during transport due to vibration caused my train, ship or road vehicle. If the concentration of suspended dust is within the lower and upper limit then possibility of explosion increased with temperature and presence of an ignition source such as smoking, naked light or sparks and arcs.

If the suspended dust concentration makes visibility of light bulb very cloudy then you can consider you are standing inside a bomb.

Watch CSB video AL Solutions Fatal Dust Explosion below