Father: American burned in Taiwan park fire fights for life

AP News
Posted: Jul 01, 2015 10:09 AM
Father: American burned in Taiwan park fire fights for life

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 was anxious about how the young man would 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 some 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 the density of the powder was high near the stage.

Taiwan has since banned use of flammable powders at all public activities.

The elder Haas, his wife and their 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 go through 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 that the young man is fascinated by Asian culture.