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Cloud of chlorine gas sends dozens to hospital at a Michigan water park pool

50 people treated from a cloud of chlorine gas at a water park.
50 people treated from a cloud of chlorine gas at a water park.
Wikimedia Commons

Dozens were sent to the hospital when a Michigan pool became the site of a hazmat incident after chlorine gas was released. 27 people were transported to the hospital and dozens of others required care on Friday when two pool chemicals were mixed and formed a deadly gas, according to NBC News on July 12.

Authorities set up a hazmat shower area to rinse the deadly vapor off people who were at the pool when the gas was released. The incident occurred at Michigan’s Adventure Water and Amusement Park near Muskegon.

50 people have received care after inhaling the gas from the cloud. 26 people were transported to two different area hospitals and the rest were treated on scene, according to Muskegon Live today.

The chlorine gas cloud was created when two ordinary pool chemicals were mixed, according to Muskegon County Officials. The mixing of muriatic acid and sodium hypochlorite created a “small chlorine gas cloud,” reports Muskegon Live after speaking with city officials.

It is not known why the two chemicals were mixed, but Michigan Adventure is looking into the chain of events that caused this incident. The wave pool was shut down for the rest of the day while the amusement park evaluated their procedure for adding these chemicals into the water.

When these chemicals, which are used daily in the water at the park to keep it clean, are mixed they are usually diluted and they do not form a chlorine gas cloud, but something different must have occurred on Friday. This is what the park officials are looking into.

Muskegon County Hazmat Official Christopher Dean said this chlorine cloud caused difficulty breathing in most of the people who needed treatment. After the people were treated, most were released from the hospital said Dean. At least two of the people taken away in ambulances were lifeguards at the park, who are still undergoing treatment.

The two lifeguards were assigned to the wave pool and they acted quickly by directing people to safety once the cloud formed and folks were seen having difficulty breathing. By taking such an active part in the rescue, the lifeguards exposed themselves to more of the gas cloud than the people at the pool. The two lifeguards are having respiratory problems at the hospital, reports Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler.