Rubber Duck

Giant duck explodes, a victim of earthquake

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 November, 2013, 4:04pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 November, 2013, 3:58am

It's been a tough Asian tour for the giant yellow duck.

It collapsed in Hong Kong in May, got stuck under a bridge in Osaka last month, and yesterday exploded in Taiwan.

The iconic creation of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman began to droop at its display site in Taoyuan on Thursday night, victim of a power outage caused by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck eastern Taiwan.

An attempt to reinflate it yesterday went awry and the duck burst shortly before 9am in a sudden gust of wind, the Taoyuan county government said.

The United Daily News reported that the explosion might have been caused by staff trying to reinflate the duck too fast.

Saddened Taiwanese fans were quick to pay their respects to what looked like a flattened fried egg.

A picture showing the duck sitting in a traditional Chinese funeral hall with a young man and woman mourning gathered 6,500 "likes" within six hours of it being posted on Facebook.

A video version shows the scene with the sound of Buddhist last rites and a woman weeping.

"First victim of the earthquake, rest in peace!" wrote fans online.

Web users came up with numerous photos paying tribute to the duck, which had come to Taoyuan only five days ago from Kaohsiung, the first of its three stops in Taiwan.

The Taoyuan county government closed the rubber duck's display area in the Taoyuan Land Art Festival and turned for back-up to the Kaohsiung government, which had been given a version of the duck, for help.

According to the festival's Facebook page, Kaohsiung's duck is to go on display today - on land first until it is safe to go back on to water.