Four victims of explosion at arsenal on life support


TAIPEI–Four of the seven people severely injured in an accidental military explosion a day ago are on life support, the Tri-Service General Hospital said Saturday.

The four patients have been put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) due to their heart and lung failure or unstable breathing since Friday night, according to a news statement issued by the hospital.

ECMO is likened to a heart-lung machine that provides both cardiac and respiratory support to patients whose heart and lung lose normal functions.

Dialysis treatment was also performed on five of the seven patients after symptoms of kidney failure and rhabdomyolysis, or the rapid destruction of skeletal muscles, were detected, the hospital said.

All seven of the victims are now at the hospital’s intensive care unit.

They were employees and military personnel working at a military arsenal in Yilan County. The explosion occurred at 9:15 a.m. Friday as they were destroying a batch of flash grenades.

A total of eight people were injured in the accident. The seven severely injured victims suffered burns covering 50 percent to 99 percent of their bodies. The other injured person sustained minor burns.