New Jersey

23 Sickened, Mostly Kids, in Chemical Incident at NJ Pool; 5 Taken to Hospital

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Four children and an adult were taken to a hospital and another nearly two dozen victims treated on scene after a mixture of pool chemicals sickened people at a New Jersey pool Friday, officials said.

The Parsippany–Troy Hills Police Department responded to report of a hazmat exposure at the Glacier Hills Association Pool on Forum Court shortly before 9:30 a.m. About 27 people were at the pool at the time, most of them kids taking swimming lessons. They were exposed to a vapor cloud that was rising from the surface of the water, caused by a mixture of pool chemicals, according to police.

"All of a sudden, we heard (the coaches) say get out of the water. We thought we heard thunder, then they said it more urgently, out of the pool. So we tried to get all the kids out," said parent Katy Ferrante, who had two sons in the water at the time. "Some of the kids were getting sick, we called 911 and called the parents. A lot of drool and coughing coming out."

One child said there was a green cloud coming from the pool.

The five victims who went to the hospital suffered respiratory distress. No details on their conditions were immediately available. The 18 people treated at the scene were expected to be OK.

Parsippany Police Capt. Jay Weiners said that after Hazmat teams investigated, they believe there was a mechanical malfunction with the pump, which lead to several gallons of muriatic acid to go into the water, and react with the chlorine.

The investigation is ongoing, but police say the surrounding community is not at risk.

Pools in New Jersey were permitted to reopen late last month for the first time since the pandemic hit. Eight New York City pools reopen to the public Friday for the first time this summer, while seven more reopen next week.

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