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Aquatic centre chemical incident leaves six in hospital

Aquatic centre chemical incident leaves six in hospital
December 3, 2018

A child is in a serious condition, a further five have been hospitalised and over a dozen people have been treated after a chemical spill at the Wollondilly Leisure Centre in Picton, NSW earlier today.

Emergency services were called to the facility in Macarthur region about 10am (AEDT) after reports of people being affected by chemicals.

NSW Ambulance Deputy Director of Critical Operations Ian Johns said 14 people had been treated - mostly young children taking swimming lessons - for health issues caused by the spill.

Johns told the ABC “it turns out some chemicals were mixed with the pool and some people had an adverse event.

"The chemicals gave off a gas and caused minor breathing and airway irritation and some localised skin and eye irritation.

"So once they were out of the affected area, paramedics were assessing and treating … thankfully (only) minor irritation this morning."

One child is in a serious condition and two other children and an adult are in stable conditions at Campbelltown Hospital. Another adult and child were taken to Bowral Hospital in a stable condition.

Following the incident, facility owner the Wollondilly Shire Council shut down the indoor pool as a precaution, while the rest of the venue remained open.

A statement from the Council later advised that the incident occurred following an operational need to use a super-dose of disinfectant.

The superchlorination is believed to have been required following a ‘Code Brown’ event, with a child having defecated in the swimming pool.

The statement advised “unfortunately a chemical spill occurred during this process, resulting in fumes, and emergency services were called by the contracted operator of the facility.

“Emergency services have arranged for the observation of those who have pre-existing respiratory issues.”

Update: As of Tuesday 4th December, Wollondilly Shire Council advised on Twitter that “the centre is open and operating as normal following an isolated incident Monday morning. We are working with authorities to fully investigate the matter over the coming days. We have been given the all clear to re-open as normal.”

Image: The Wollondilly Leisure Centre, courtesy of Wollondilly Shire Council.

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16th July 2018 - IQ Pool Solutions introduces ‘code brown’ treatment solution

28th November 2017 - Warning over ‘ticking time bombs’ in handling and storing pool chemicals

15th August 2016 - Rio 2016 organisers admit to using wrong pool chemicals at Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre

9th June 2016 - ARV releases guidelines for managing outdoor seasonal pools

4th May 2015 - Outdoor seasonal pools under ongoing threats

23rd June 2014 - Two year old Orange Aquatic Centre needs repair

24th April 2014 - Funding boost for grassroots rugby league in NSW

27th January 2012 - Attorney General calls for submissions on pool chemicals security


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