On June 26th this year, Alex Haas, an American TEFL teacher working in Taiwan, was badly injured in an explosion at a theme park in Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
Alex, along with some 500 others, was the innocent victim of a terrible accident when colored powder sprayed into the crowd suddenly burst into flames. He is suffering second and third degree burns on 90% of his body and is still in serious danger with an uncertain prognosis.
Alex was coming to the end of his first year teaching in Taiwan with the HESS International Educational Group and was considering signing up for the second year as he enjoyed the country and working there so much.
To help pay for Alex’ medical expenses a fund has been set up which currently stands at almost $50,000.
As of late August 2015 Alex has been discharged from hospital and is on the road to recovery. He hopes to return to the US soon.
Accidents like this are rare but English teachers need to be aware of their medical status while working overseas just in case of emergencies like this.
When you sign a contract with a school you should check to see that it includes relevant medical services in case you need them. A number of teachers will also take out private medical insurance so that in a worse case scenario they are covered if they need to be repatriated or require long term health care.
Health Cover for TEFL Teachers – an article looking at health cover for teachers
NH man fighting for life after Taiwan explosion from the New Hampshire Union Leader news site.
CNN Report on the accident.