35 Children Sent to Area Hospitals Due to Chemical Exposure at Camp Letts
According to Anne Arundel County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Russell Davies, 35 people were taken to area hospitals Wednesday morning following exposure to chemical fumes at the pool at the YMCA Camp Letts in Edgewater. Davies said that the call came in at 10 a.m. The caller reportedly said that about 25 children were experiencing symptoms including nausea and vomiting.
Camp Letts is located just off Central Avenue and provides residential and day camps to local children, as well as those who come to the camps from the DC and Baltimore metro area. In addition, local children utilize the swimming pool for swim team practice.
Davies said that the Hazardous Materials Team responded and worked with the staff at Camp Letts to isolate the problem to an apparent mechanical malfunction which caused an excessive amount of either Sodium Hypochlorite (pool chlorine) or Muriatic Acid to enter the pool. The staff recognized the problem and quickly evacuated the children from the pool and moved them to the showers where they were decontaminated.
Davies said that the quick thinking of staff is believed to have minimized the impact of the exposure.
Fire and EMS transported a total of 35 patients to various area hospitals. Four the patients were adults and the rest were children between the ages of 6 and 16.
Davies said that some of the patients had serious symptoms, but none were life-threatening.
He said that some of the patients who were provided quick treatment (triage) at the scene had moderate to minor symptoms.
Davies credited mutual aid of the Annapolis Fire Department and Howard County Department of Fire Rescue Services.
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