WHITE LAKE, N.C. — Approximately 25 children got sick at White Lake Water Park after excess chlorine was pumped into the wave pool, Bladen County Emergency Services told WECT.
Officials said a small amount of concentrated chlorine was pumped into the pool around 3:20 p.m. Thursday.
The park owner, Ted Hucks, told WECT an employee shut down one of the pumps at the new wave pool, but forgot to turn off the chlorine system. That caused the chlorine to continue pumping and when everything was turned back on, a large amount of chlorine was then pumped into the pool.
According to the emergency services director, five victims were taken to the hospital by ambulance and 20 others were taken in private vehicles.
Most of the children experienced nausea and vomiting.
The park released the following statement on its Facebook page Thursday night:
This afternoon, around 3:20 p.m., we had an incident at our new wave pool where a higher than normal amount of pool bleach sanitizer was introduced into the pool by accident. There were many people in the pool at the time of the incident. A local school had around 25 children in the pool, most of which were in the shallow end of the pool. The bleach entered the pool through the return inlets which are located in the floor of the pool. The return inlets located in the deeper water diluted the bleach before it could rise to the surface, but the return inlets located in the shallow water allowed the bleach odor to escape to the surface where these children were playing. It is our understanding that of the 25 children checked out at the local hospital three received breathing treatments and all were sent home. We are deeply sorry such an incident ever occurred and we have already taken steps to insure an incident like this can never occur again. Please accept our deepest regrets that this ever happened. We strive to have a safe, fun place for everyone to enjoy.
Tests are being done to make sure chlorine levels are now safe, according to WECT. All of the victims have been released from the hospital.
The park remains open to the public.