A family day has turned into a nightmare due to a chemical leak at a Houston-area water park. This terrible incident occurred on July 17 at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown in Spring.
According to CNN, around 65 people were sickened. Some reports say that many people are suffering from minor skin irritation and respiratory issues. The decontamination incident led the Splashtown to immediately shut down. The investigation is going on and the park will remain closed until the exact reason of the chemical leak is discovered.
Chemical Leak: A Mixture of Bleach and Sulfuric acid
Investigators believe the leak was some sort of mixture of bleach and sulfuric acid, the Associated Press reported. "The chemical combination was about 30-35% sulfuric acid and 10-13% bleach, and that's all we have at this time," said Spring Fire Department Chief Scott Seifert. According to a report of KPRC- TV, investigators said the system that controls the chemicals at the water park did not have any alarms or readings set off.
The official Twitter account for the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office stated that the HCFMO hazmat is on scene working to identify the cause of the incident and to verify the chemicals involved. Air and water quality will also be monitored.
Many People Getting Sick After the Lifeguard Was Affected
According to CNN, "In the area around the kiddie pool in this water park, a lifeguard was sick, and soon after that, more and more people began becoming sick," Harris County Judge Lina Hildalgo said in a news conference outside Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown in Spring, Texas.
Hidalgo said all equipment readings during the incident and samples taken immediately afterward showed conditions within normal legal limits, but added that actually makes her more concerned. "Their current procedures very clearly cannot adequately ensure health and safety," she said.
Ladder Truck was used
According to a CNN report, Chief Seifert informed that 26 people were taken to area hospitals and 39 refused transport. He said they were decontaminated before leaving the park.
"What we do is we set up our ladder truck that has a nozzle on the end, we point it straight down about 15 feet above where the people will walk through, and they walk through there and they basically massage their eyes and things like that to get any chemicals out of their eyes if they're affected. And then, after a period of time, they'll walk through it and walk out," Seifert told reporters.
Public Experienced a Nightmare
KPRC- TV has highlighted the experiences of the public in the park. The media outlet conveyed that Steven Morris Steven Morris and his 9-year-old daughter Lia were among the more than 30 people who were rushed to a local hospital following the leak at Splashtown. "I thought it was a terrorist attack it felt like we got gassed," said Steven Morris. He said he knew something was wrong when his daughter began crying and vomiting. Doctors and nurses said her oxygen levels were low. "I just started coughing and then my eyes swelled up," said Lia Morris, his daughter.
Another victim was a pregnant woman who was believed to be in labor as she was transported from the park. Many people believe that the chemicals were mixed wrongly and hence the chaotic situation was created.