Father: American burned in Taiwan park fire fights for life
Jul. 01, 2015
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The father of an American who was badly burned in a fire at a Taiwan water park said Wednesday that the family is anxious about how the young man will fare in the next few days.
Roger Haas of Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, said his son Alex Haas, 26, is fighting for his life after 90 percent of his body and his lungs were burned.
He said the family faults the park management for the fire last Saturday that killed one person and burned hundreds more.
"We are in no way holding the country of Taiwan responsible for any of this at all," the father said. "However, there is a responsibility here, and it is with the water park and people that did not take the time to consider the situation of spraying the powder onto the public."
Investigators are looking into the possibility that a spark might have triggered the explosion of colored corn powder that was thrown into a crowd from a stage at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City. Investigators also have found that the density of the powder was high near the stage.
Taiwan has since banned the use of flammable powders at all public activities.
The elder Haas, his wife and two children arrived in Taipei on Tuesday.
"If he can pass through these next few days and get his heart, health and his breathing (better) ... if he can go beyond that, then there is a good chance he can get through months and months and months of rehabilitation and surgery, which we would welcome at this point."
He said his son moved to Taiwan to teach English a year ago and is fascinated by Asian culture.