The exposure happened in a children's pool area Saturday afternoon at Hurricane Harbor Splashtown where dozens of guests were located. A lifeguard became sick and soon after, more people got sick, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Saturday.
Officials from Splashtown released the following statement Sunday afternoon:
The waterpark will be closed Sunday, July 18 and Monday, July 19 to permit a thorough investigation into yesterday's incident. Preliminary findings indicate there was a vapor release in a small outdoor section of the park that quickly dissipated. We are working hand in hand with Harris County Public Health officials, along with third party industry experts, to determine a cause, and we will reopen when we are confident it is safe to do so. It is our understanding that all impacted guests and team members have been released and are back home. The safety of our guests and employees is always our top priority.
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86 people were decontaminated by first responders, according to the Spring Fire Department. 31 people were transported to hospitals.
21 of those 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.
"I just kept wondering why I was burning," a park guest said.
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.