Giant yellow duck explodes in Taiwan hours before New Year’s countdown: Just hours before it was expected to draw a huge crowd to count down the new year, a giant yellow duck on display in a Taiwanese port exploded, according to reports.
Around noon the 18-metre-tall duck burst and deflated into a floating yellow disc just 11 days after it went on display at Keelung, said reports.
It was the second time that one of the giant inflatable ducks had burst while on display in Taiwan.
The ducks are bath toy replicas created by the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, and have been hugely popular in Taiwan.
“We want to apologise to the fans of the yellow rubber duck… The weather is fine today and we haven’t found the cause of the problem. We will carefully examine the duck to determine the cause,” said organiser Huang Jing-tai to reporters.
A large New Year’s countdown crowd was expected Tuesday night, and organisers had planned to stay open past midnight for the event.
An eyewitness was cited as saying the explosion of the rubber duck might have been caused by eagles who scratched it with their claws, according to the Central News Agency.
Three versions of the rubber duck were exhibited in Taiwanese cities in 2013. But all three were forced to temporarily suspend the exhibit because of bad weather or damage, said a Channel News Asia report.
One duck in Taoyuan became a victim of a 6.3-magnitude earthquake which resulted in a power outage, causing the duck to deflate when an air pump stopped working.
Then while it was being re-inflated, powerful winds caused the duck’s rear end to burst.
The duck at Kaohsiung had drawn four million visitors in a one-month display, but had to be temporarily deflated and brought ashore when Typhoon Usagi struck the island in September.
The original duck designed by Hofman has reportedly travelled to 13 cities in nine countries since 2007, including Hong Kong, Australia, and Brazil, on its journey around the world.