TWELVE students at Hong Kong Baptist University (香港浸會大學) were injured in a dust explosion as a birthday party went wrong.
Most of the four male students and eight females, aged 18 to 23, suffered first or second degree burns to their hands, feet and faces. Four are in stable condition in hospital, eight were discharged after treatment.
The students were throwing fl our at each other – six bags of it – when a birthday candle triggered the explosion, witnesses said. At 1am on 22 November, about 20 students gathered inside a multi-purpose room on the 12th floor of South Tower, Wai Lun Building, on the university’s Kowloon Tong campus. Five were born in November and were having a collective birthday party.
They were singing around a birthday cake when someone started throwing fl our. Then came the explosion, with the flames reaching the ceiling. The fire was extinguished by firefighters. About 250 students from the dormitory were moved out.
A university spokesman said staff were very concerned about the injured students and were offering assistance to them and their families. The university will also look into the incident.
A graduate who lived in that hall, surnamed Cheung, said students who live in the South Tower are usually more outgoing, and engaged in water fights at times. She said it is forbidden to light a fire in the hall, but security guards took a relaxed approach as it was a tradition to celebrate birthdays in the hall.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 03 December 2018)
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