YMCA Pool Chemical Spill In Durham, North Carolina: 42 People Were Hospitalized In Sodium Hypochlorite Leak

An accident at a YMCA in Durham, North Carolina, has left at least six children in serious condition, but their conditions have improved. According to ABC7, there were 42 people that were sent to the hospital, with 40 of those being children. It was a chemical leak of sodium hypochlorite, which was used as a bleaching compound of chlorine — a disinfectant — that spilled into the pool at the Durham Downtown YMCA on Wednesday afternoon.

Initial reports of 23 people sent to local area hospitals were revised to 42 and then 39 people. As far as the ages of the children affected by the YMCA pool malfunction, they were as young as six years of age up to 12. Those not seriously affected were still checked out at the hospital and watched. The chemical spill caused vomiting in some of those affected, as well as irritated skin, eyes, and respiratory illness. After the chemical spill at the Durham Downtown YMCA, the location was evacuated. The chlorine leak of sodium hypochlorite occurred within an indoor pool.

It was 2:43 p.m. when the Durham Deputy Fire Department responded to the call. There were approximately 40 people in the pool at the time of the incident. Those affected were transported to Duke University Hospital or Duke Regional Hospital. It was a lifeguard who first reported the strong smell of chemicals near the pool’s pump room.

Located at 218 W. Morgan Street, the YMCA was evacuated as emergency responders tended to the situation. The Club Boulevard Elementary School had approximately 100 campers who were swimming in the Downtown Durham YMCA pool, but once they were returned to the school, some experienced breathing problems.

As reported by U.S. News & World Report, there was a tent erected outside of the YMCA to help people overcome by the fumes of the chemical spill.

According to WRAL, there were 42 people that were taken to the hospital in the wake of the spill. About 25 firefighters from the Durham Fire Department responded to the scene, including the hazmat team. Most children were treated and released by Wednesday night. Symptoms such as throat pain and blurry vision can occur with exposure to the chemical.

[Featured Image by Ian Waldie/Getty Images]