Students Overcome By Pool Fumes

By: James Steiner
By: James Steiner

A chemical leak, at a Reno community center pool overcomes more than a dozen people including a high school swim team...
The Northeast Community Center, behind me, has been closed since three o'clock today...when the incident happened.
Witnesses say, a driver, delivering cleaning chemicals to the pool...accidentally caused a noxious gas to be released into the air.
The North Valleys high school varsity swim team was having its regular practice...when, all of a sudden, coaches started pulling kids out of the pool.
Swimmer, aaron klatt "i didn't notice anything wrong. I smelled chlorine. But only after I got outside."
Witnesses smelled a chlorine gas...coming from the main pump room into the swim area.
They say, the driver of Sierra Chemical company, accidentally used the same tubing...when putting in the two primary chemicals to clean the pool.
joe wilson, rec supervisor "in the process of doing that. The muriatic acid left in the tubing and the sulfate had a reaction. Creating the chlorine gas."
Firefighters say 17 people had to be treated for cold and coughing symptoms.
Washoe Medical Center went into code "orange"...for what administrators called a mass casualty incident.
steve matles, washoe med. safety officer "what happened when they arrived is that they were triaged for medical stability. And whether they had adequate decontamination in the field, if at all."
Fortunately, all the exposed students and staff...were decontaminated at the center.
Several were allowed to go home with their parents...who left work, in a panic, to pick them up.
janie balfour, parent "she seemed to be talking ok. Before they put her in the van. She didn't seem nervous. I think everything will be fine."
The Occupational Health and Safety Organization, commonly known as OHSA is investigating the spill.
No word yet...if the chemical company will face any charges.
Now, we have good news to report tonight.
Washoe Medical Center says, all of the people, have been released from the hospital...with no serious side effects from the gas.
But, we don't know when the community center will be back open.


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