Dust explosions have always been considered an industrial danger, certainly not something to worry about at a concert or celebration. That perception was forever changed in June, when a cloud of colored cornstarch dust exploded at a packed concert in New Taipei, Taiwan. The explosion sent a giant fireball through the crowd, burning hundreds of people and killing at least 11.
The unprecedented explosion, it’s aftermath and NFPA’s response is the subject of an article “Powder Keg” in the new September/October issue of NFPA Journal. It is also the subject of a new NFPA Journal podcast, “Dust Explosions and Color Runs," released last week on iTunes.
On the new podcast, Guy Colonna, NFPA’s division manager of Industrial and Chemical Engineering, speaks to host Jesse Roman about how the dust explosion in Taiwan may have occurred, and what NFPA codes and standards could be used to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. Colonna also offers advice to public safety officials in communities that might be hosting or thinking of hosting similar events involving powder, including “color runs”—fun-runs where participants have colored powder thrown on them—as well as Holi festivals, where revelers throw colored powder into the air.