Tags: taiwan | rubber | duck | bursts

Taiwan Rubber Duck Bursts Hours Before New Year's Celebration

Tuesday, 31 Dec 2013 02:59 PM

By Ken Mandel

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A 59-foot-tall ceremonial yellow rubber duck exploded in a Taiwan port Tuesday, hours before fulfilling its destiny of helping to bring in 2014.

The creation was on display at Keelung before popping at around noon local time. It was reduced to a floating yellow disc 11 days after being unveiled.

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"We want to apologize to the fans of the yellow rubber duck," said organizer Huang Jing-tai, Agence France-Presse reported. "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."

The inflatable is a replica of the well-known child's bath toy, and was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. An eyewitness told the Central News Agency that the giant rubber creature may have been attacked by eagles, AFP said.

Since 2007, the original duck designed by Hofman has visited 13 cities in nine countries, including Brazil, Australia, and Hong Kong, as it makes its way around the world.

In October, an earlier version of the giant inflatable sculpture debuted in Taoyuan County, and drew an estimated 100,000 viewers on the first day, according to The China Post. A month later, it fell victim to a 6.3-magnitude earthquake, deflated due to a power outage.

In September, the duck at Kaohsiung attracted 4 million spectators while on display for a month, but it was temporarily deflated amid safety concerns associated with the arrival of Typhoon Usagi.

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