Chemical leak at Texas water park sickens dozens, sends more than 20 to hospital

SPRING, Texas — A suspected chemical leak Saturday afternoon in the kiddie pool area at Hurricane Harbor Splashtown sent 26 people to the hospital and dozens more to decontamination showers, multiple media outlets reported.

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The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office confirmed to KHOU that at least 26 people were transported from the Six Flags facility in Spring, Texas, to area hospitals for medical treatment, while 39 other people were affected by the hazardous materials situation but refused medical transport. The Associated Press later increased the number of victims seeking medical attention to 29.

According to the TV station, dozens of affected visitors underwent decontamination protocols before leaving the park’s grounds.

“What began as a fun family day turned into very much a nightmare for many families,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s highest-ranking official, said during a news conference.

Hidalgo also confirmed that a 3-year-old child was among the most seriously affected by the incident but is currently listed in stable condition at Texas Children’s Hospital in The Woodlands, KHOU reported.

The conditions of the other victims were not immediately available, KTRK reported.

Hurricane Harbor issued the following statement, obtained by the TV station, regarding 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 safety of our guests and team members 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.”

According to officials, the chemical combination of the leaked substance contained 35% sulfuric acid and between 10% and 13% bleach, but the cause of the release remains under investigation, KHOU reported.

Hurricane Harbor Splashtown was last inspected in April, the TV station confirmed.