Iowa Park pool incident leads to five injuries

Iowa Park pool incident leads to five injuries

IOWA PARK, TX (KAUZ) - A toxic gas released into the air at the Iowa Park Municipal Pool and Spray Park sent five people to the hospital Monday afternoon.
Jerry Flemming, Iowa Park City Manger, said a combination of dry formula chemicals were not mixed properly.
    "We had some hydrochloric acid come into contact with chlorine, both in the powdered format," Flemming said. "When a little bit of water was added to the solution, it released chlorine gas, which is highly toxic. Four of our swimming pool patrons and one of our city employees inhaled some of the gas and required treatment."
All five victims are out of the hospital.  Flemming said there is no excuse for what happened.
    "Should there be chemical reactions?  Absolutely not," Flemming said. "If chemicals are handled properly, they never come into contact with other chemicals where you have a toxic release like this.  Any time that happens, there is human error somewhere.  That should not happen and is not tolerable."
Despite the mistake, Flemming said all parties handled the situation well.
    "The pool staff has to work with law enforcement," Flemming said. "We have to work with our paramedics and firefighters. We did that quite well. Although this situation should have never happened, it did and our staff responded to it."
The incident has led to the city changing their training policies, in hopes of preventing a similar situation in the future.
    "Our pool staff trains for all sorts of scenarios," Flemming said. "We have never trained for mass casualties before.  Usually, we have one victim in situations. That training changed this morning, and now our training includes multiple victims at the same time."
A complete investigation of the incident was performed, and pool operators were briefed on proper testing and treatment procedures for the swimming pool.
The pool opened back up around 6 p.m. Monday night.
Flemming said that it is safe for the staff along with the pool users.

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