‘Freak Accident’ Sends Dozens to Hospital for Chlorine Exposure, Mostly Children
PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — Police and medical crews responded Tuesday after a pump malfunction led to about 50 people suffering from chlorine exposure.
The incident began about 5 p.m. at Pleasant Grove Veterans Memorial Pool, 582 South 300 East in Pleasant Grove.
Pleasant Grove Police Department Captain Britt Smith told KSL TV that a malfunction with one of main pool pumps occurred at the pool.
“We had a failure of a pump and when that pump kicked back on it kicked too much chlorine into the water,” Smith said.
He said several patrons of the pool presented symptoms such as bloody noses, coughing and vomiting before being transported to the hospital.
Eight ambulances responded to transport people to local hospitals, according to Smith.
About 26 people were transported by ambulance — another 22 self-transported.
One parent described the scene after her daughters were taken from the pool to the hospital.
“She was one of four in her ambulance,” Marie Stott said. “… and (at the hospital) they showered her and made sure she was all clean and monitored her.”
It is not believed that there are any life-threatening injuries.
“Our daughters were checked several times by a couple different city EMTs just to make sure they were okay,” Stott said.
ER doctor Nathan Miller said the chlorine gas inhaled by patients he has treated today has required some serious response.
“The more serious patients have some wheezing,” Dr. Miller said. “And then even more serious that their oxygen numbers drop and they require oxygen, they require breathing treatments.”
Police said most of those effected and treated are children. Dr. Miller said it takes less chlorine to hurt a child.
“It just takes less of the chlorine exposure to affect them as much, because of the smaller size of their lungs… and airways,” he said.
Police are still investigating the incident.
“Of course, we’re going to do everything in our power to determine and isolate exactly what happened so that it never happens again,” Capt. Smith said.
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