Updated 3:30 p.m. July 18
According to ABC 13, more than two dozen patients being treated for chemical exposure from Hurricane Harbor Splashtown in Spring have been released from hospitals, authorities said July 18.
The exposure happened in a children's pool area the afternoon of July 17 at the water park where dozens of guests were located. A lifeguard became sick and soon after, more people got sick, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Saturday.
According to Spring Fire Department, 85 people were decontaminated by first responders, and 31 people were transported to hospitals.
Of those, 21 were treated at Memorial Herman-Texas Medical Center, and seven were taken to Memorial Hermann The Woodlands. The patients at both hospitals were later released, hospital representatives said Sunday.
The fumes came from a solution of hypochlorite and 35% sulfuric acid, authorities said. Hypochlorite is a component of cleaner used to treat water in swimming pools. Sulfuric acid is a colorless, odorless liquid that can be highly corrosive in pure form.
HAZMAT officials monitored the air quality at the park, according to a fire marshal. Hidalgo said there was no indication of air quality or chemical leaks in the surrounding area.
Harris County Public Health ordered the park to remain closed while investigators worked to find out how the incident happened
Posted 10:20 p.m. July 17
According to ABC 13, around 60 people were being decontaminated July 17 after an unknown chemical spilled in a pool area at Hurricane Harbor Splashtown, according to the Harris County Fire Marshal.
The Spring Fire Department responded to the call around 3 p.m. July 17 at 21300 I-45 in Spring.
"What began as a fun family day turned into very much a nightmare for many families," Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said during a press conference.
According to Hidalgo, the issue started near a kiddie pool. A lifeguard grew sick and soon after, more people got sick.
She said children started walking out of the pool with respiratory issues.
Hurricane Harbor provided a response to the incident.
"At approximately 2:30 this afternoon, a small number of guests in a section of the park reported feeling ill with respiratory irritation," the statement read. "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. Out of an abundance of caution, the park has been closed for the day."
HAZMAT officials arrived to the scene to monitor the air, according to a fire marshal.
Officials said they are unsure if the spill came from a leak.
#update 34 people gone through decon. Incident has been contained to one attraction at the park. HCFMO HAZMAT is working on air monitoring. More info when available.
— @hcfmo (@hcfmo) July 17, 2021
Hidalgo said there was no indication of air quality or chemical leaks in the surrounding area. However, she did advise that people avoid the area until further notice.
She said during the press conference that Harris County issued a stop work order on the water park, and it will not be able to reopen until its systems improve.
The people who were affected expressed they were also experiencing minor skin and/or inhalation irritation, according to officials.
NEWS: Harris County Public Health to inspect pool systems at Hurricane Harbor Splashtown after today’s chemical exposure incident. Read full press release here: https://t.co/oCBKGbSVDU pic.twitter.com/fSsoGmTZzH
— Harris County Public Health #GetVaxxed (@hcphtx) July 18, 2021
The most serious case, according to Hidalgo, involved a child. That child was rushed to Texas Children's Hospital in The Woodlands and is now stable. Thirty-nine people said they felt OK and were not taken to the hospital, but 26 others were taken to a hospital, Hidalgo said.
Memorial Hermann officials released a statement, saying some of the guests affected by the chemical spill were brought to their hospital.
"Related to a reported chemical spill in the Spring area today, we can confirm that Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center has received 12 patients and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center has received five patients," the statement said. "All patients are currently being evaluated, and their conditions are unknown at this time."
From ABC 13