After a pump malfunctioned at Pleasant Grove Veterans Memorial Pool about 36 miles south of Salt Lake City about 50 people, most of them children, were sickened on Tuesday.
Too much chlorine was forced into the pool, police explained, and when the pump started back up again, the chlorine turned to gas. “An inordinate amount of chlorine was put into the water because of the failure of a pump,” Capt. Britt Smith told. The victims were suffering from bloody noses, nausea, vomiting and that some drifted in and out of consciousnes. The pool was evacuated. 26 of those who were sickened were transported to area hospitals.
None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening. The incident was not affecting other areas of the recreation center. Government agencies will be involved in investigating the cause of the malfunction but it was considered an accident. At the pools, chlorine is used to disinfect water. It has a yellow-green color, and a pungent, irritating odor similar to bleach. When chlorine enters the body as a result of breathing, swallowing, or skin contact, it reacts with water to produce acids. The acids are corrosive and damage cells in the body on contact. There is no antidote for chlorine poisoning, but chlorine's effects are treatable.