Chlorine fumes at a Southern California swimming school sent 19 people, including 12 children, to the hospital with injuries Wednesday, Oct. 3.
The Ventura County Fire Department said the incident happened just after 6 p.m. at the Daland Swim School in Thousand Oaks, about 145 miles northwest of Los Angeles, according to the Ventura County Star.
Ventura County Department Fire Capt. Stan Ziegler said the fumes were caused by “excess chlorine being pumped into the pool after residue was left in the chemical feeder,” according to the Star.
Responders said that seven of those injured required immediate medical treatment and were rushed to area hospitals. The other 12 people injured were also taken to local hospitals and treated for injuries ranging from mild to moderate.
The patients were taken to Adventist Health Simi Valley, St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, and Los Robles Regional Hospital in Thousand Oaks, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. All patients are expected to make a full recovery.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), signs and symptoms of exposure to dangerously high levels of chlorine include blurred vision; burning pain, redness, and blisters on the skin; skin injuries similar to frostbite; burning sensation in the nose, throat, and eyes; coughing; chest tightness; difficulty breathing; shortness of breath; fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema); nausea and vomiting; watery eyes; and wheezing.
While no antidote exists for chlorine exposure, the injuries are be treated by removing the chlorine from the body as soon as possible and providing supportive medical care such as inhaled breathing treatments, according to the CDC.