Dozens Treated After Chemical Leak at Texas Water Park

July 19, 2021

A chemical leak at a Houston-area water park left dozens suffering from minor skin irritation and respiratory issues Saturday, authorities said.

Twenty-nine people were taken to local hospitals following the incident at children’s pool in Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown in Spring, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office tweeted. Thirty-nine others declined to be taken to a hospital after undergoing decontamination procedures.

KPRC-TV reports that some of those who became sick were children, including a 3-year-old who was hospitalized in stable condition.

ABC News reported that investigators found the water had a chemical combination of 35% sulfuric acid and 10 to 13% bleach after evacuating the park and conducting preliminary tests of the air and water, Scott Seifert, the chief of Spring Texas Fire, told reporters. The chemicals are commonly used to clean and treat swimming pools.

ABC reported that more than 65 people came in contact with the substance, but no one suffered any chemical burns, according to the fire marshall’s office. The affected persons were decontaminated.

“The safety of our guests and team member is always our highest priority and the park was immediately cleared as we try to determine a cause,” Hurricane Harbor Splashtown spokesperson Rosie Shepard said in a statement, according to news outlets. “Out of an abundance of caution, the park has been closed for the day.”

Authorities are investigating the cause of the incident, which they said was contained to one attraction at the park.

“Grateful for the swift action from first responders today at Splashtown,” Houston’s chief elected official, Lina Hidalgo, tweeted. “We’ve issued a closure order to investigate and ensure the park meets all requirements before reopening again.’

Hidalgo told ABC News that the park is supposed to have systems in place that track the pH level in the water and alert crews quickly. She said the city will make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“If you can have 60-plus people get sick, and your system doesn’t catch it … then clearly something is wrong with the system,” she said, according to ABC News.

About the photo: Emergency personnel vehicles are parked near the scene where people are being treated after chemical leak at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown Saturday, July 17, 2021 in Spring, Texas (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP)

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