Police, SCDF to assess safety of using coloured powder at Colour Run

 A participant getting splashed with green-coloured powder during the Colour Run at Sentosa last year. ST FILE
A participant getting splashed with green-coloured powder during the Colour Run at Sentosa last year. ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The police and Singapore Civil Defence Force will assess the safety of using coloured powder before approving applications for the Colour Run - in which runners are doused with coloured powder - and other similar events.

In a joint statement on Tuesday night, both agencies said they are studying the Taiwan fire which took place last Saturday, resulting in one death and injuring close to 500 people, including one Singaporean.

They said: "We will assess all safety aspects associated with the use of coloured powder, before granting any approval for the Colour Run or other similar events."

The Straits Times earlier on Tuesday reported that a few concerned participants of the event, in which runners are doused with coloured powder, have pulled out of the Sentosa race following an explosion at a "colour party" in a water park in Taiwan last Saturday.

The Colour Run will be held on Aug 22 and 23. It is organised by IMG, a global sports, entertainment and media firm.

The run is a non-competitive, untimed 5km event in which runners in white are drenched in coloured cornstarch at each kilometre, so that the participants finish in a riot of hues.

Close to 500 revellers were injured in the blaze at the Colour Play Asia event at the Formosa Fun Coast water park just outside the capital Taipei on Saturday evening. It is suspected to have been caused by an explosion of the coloured powder, which was made from cornstarch, according to officials.

The news prompted some to post on the Colour Run Singapore's Facebook page, asking if the event was safe, as well as about the coloured powder used and measures taken to prevent a similar incident.

According to the Colour Run website, the coloured powder is made of "food grade cornstarch and is 100 per cent natural and safe".

The spokesman said the powder used in its events has been tested and successfully passed the required European Union standards for flammability.

"The powder used in the (incident) in Taipei was different from that used in Colour Run events and was not provided by the Colour Run supplier," he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Singaporean Megan Loy, who was injured in the Taipei water park fire, arrived in Singapore and was taken straight from the airport to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) in an ambulance.

The 18-year-old, wheeled in on a stretcher, was covered in full-body bandages. She was accompanied by her father, Mr Joseph Loy.

Mr Loy told The Straits Times that his daughter is in a "stable" condition now.

Ms Loy suffered serious burns on up to 50 per cent of her body and was in intensive care at the Taipei Medical University Shuang-Ho Hospital for the past three days.

She had gone to Taiwan on a graduation trip with three other schoolmates from an international school she studied at in Shanghai, China.