A preliminary investigation shows that a colored, highly flammable powder was the main cause of the water park explosion on Saturday. In the wake of the incident, the mayor of New Taipei City has banned the use of the powder for all events in the city.
A powder explosion happens when particles suspended in the air suddenly combust. It can occur when any flammable powder is present in high enough concentrations in the atmosphere, or in other suitable gaseous environment such as molecular oxygen. Powder explosions used to be common in coal mines and production sites. But now with more festivals, club activities and sporting events using celebration powders for visual effects, experts say safety issues have become an increasing concern.