Garfield Park Pool Chemical Spill Or Leak Causes Many To Go To Hospital

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On June 21, 2012 around 2:00 p.m., there was a chemical spill or leak at the Garfield Park Aquatic Center, located at 2345 Pagoda Drive, in Indianapolis, Indiana’s Southside. The Garfield Park public pool is a popular destination for kids and adults alike, such as on a hot day such as this.

Although some reports are calling the problem to be a chemical leak or spill, at least one report from Shari Patton, a parent of three children swimming at the pool, described the incident as an “explosion.” Of course, this story is still developing, so it remains to be seen exactly what occurred.

However, what is currently known is that people in the pool, including children, when this incident occurred began to experience symptoms. These include coughing, vomiting and eye irritation.

Both the pool and the entire Garfield Park are being evacuated. Further, there are reports that there are a large number of children and adults who presumably had been in and around the pool who are being evaluated by medical personnel.

As of this writing nine victims have been transported to Riley Hospital for Children, while an additional five victims have been transported to Wishard Memorial Hospital. In addition, there are reports that IndyGo buses are being used to transport those with less severe symptoms.

It is currently unknown, for sure, exactly what chemical entered the pool, but the Marion County Medical Multi Agency Coordination Center ranked the event as a “Level IV”, which is the highest emergency level, so certainly the situation could be dangerous or treated with utmost care and caution.

There are some initial reports that the chemical that entered the pool was known as “Magic Acid,” which was described in the news report as a chemical used to purify water. An initial Internet search suggests a common pool supply known as “Acid Magic” may be what was referred to, although by a slightly different name, although this is not currently not known for certain.

Acid Magic is a type of Muriatic acid which can be used for multiple uses, but in pools is used to lower pH and alkalinity. Click here to read a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for Acid Magic (opens into PDF). Some of the information in this document regarding the effects of overexposure include:

  • Skin Contact: No effect for healthy, intact skin. May cause irritation.
  • Inhalation: Overexposure will cause irritation or burns to respiratory tract.
  • Eye Contact: Corrosive. May cause redness, burns, and irreversible damage to eye.

Starr Austen and Miller lawyers focus on representing individuals and their family members in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. If you have any additional information on this accident, please call Mario Massillamany with the law firm of Starr Austen & Miller at (574) 722-6676.

[Sources: IndyStar and WishTV]