Twelve students at Hong Kong Baptist University were injured following a fire at a dormitory on Thursday.

The fire broke out at about 1a.m. at the Wai Lun Building on Baptist University Road in Kowloon Tong. About 20 students had gathered for  a birthday party in a 12th floor activity room, news website HK01.com reported.

It was understood that when candles were lit, someone threw flour into the air, causing a “dust explosion” which involves the rapid combustion of fine particles suspended in the air.

Four male students and eight female students aged between 18 and 23 suffered injuries to their hands, feet and faces and were sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Kwong Wah Hospital for medical treatment, Apple Daily reported.

Five students were detained for treatment. One 21-year-old female who was initially categorized as in a serious condition was later listed as stable. The rest of the students who had suffered minor injuries were discharged.

Firefighters and police are now investigating the cause of the fire.

The accident is reminiscent of a 2015 incident at a theme park in Taiwan. Fifteen people died and about 500 people were hurt when coloured dust sprayed into the air at a festival caught fire, producing a fireball.