A court in Taiwan Tuesday sentenced the organizer of a dance party, at which an explosion led to the deaths of 15 people, to four years and 10 months in jail, a media report said.

The explosion at a water park in New Taipei on June 27 last year also injured 500 people, the Central News Agency reported.

Coloured cornstarch powder pumped into the air caught fire at the party organized by Lu Chung-chi. Prosecutors had said that the explosion happened when some of the powder came into contact with a powerful light on the stage.

According to Taiwan Shilin District Court, Lu admitted that he did not pay sufficient attention to the management of the powder, which posed potential risks to partygoers.

Judge Huang Ya-jun told a news conference that the highest sentence for "business negligent homicide" is five years. "Lu was sentenced to 4 years and 10 months because he has had a plan to compensate victims and their families," she said.

Dozens of victims' families protested outside the court, saying the sentence given to Lu disappointed them.

Yu Yung-cheng, who was injured in the accident, said the judgment was unacceptable. "How could this be possible? Many people died in the accident," he said in tears, according to the Central News Agency.

Some 429 victims and families are seeking 21 billion Taiwan dollars (649 million US dollars) compensation in the courts from Lu and related companies involved.

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