12 hospitalized after falling ill at waterpark - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12 hospitalized after falling ill at waterpark

A malfunction at Gulf Islands Waterpark in Gulfport sent two people to the hospital Monday morning.  (Photo source: WLOX) A malfunction at Gulf Islands Waterpark in Gulfport sent two people to the hospital Monday morning. (Photo source: WLOX)
Several ambulances responded to an incident at Gulf Islands Waterpark in Gulfport. (Photo source: WLOX) Several ambulances responded to an incident at Gulf Islands Waterpark in Gulfport. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

A relaxing day at Gulf Islands Waterpark in Gulfport changed quickly Monday when park goers began smelling a strong odor in one of the park's attractions. By the end of the day, two dozen guests complained of issues primarily with their breathing. Some even had to be hospitalized. 

Emergency personnel worked fast evaluating the affected guests. 

"They said a chlorine pipe bust, but my eyes had been burning before they mentioned the pipe bust. I went to the first aid they told me all they could do is flush my eyes out with water," said Joshua Joseph. 

As many as 12 people were taken to the hospital. 

"They had a lot of little kids in there coughing and choking. People got breathing masks on, oxygen tanks," said Joseph. 

The problem all stemmed from a private contractor working on a valve at the back of the park. 

"He turned on and off the system, which created a chemical push of chlorine all at one burst. And that aerates into the water or bubbles. That's what gets into the air and people breathed in both times," said Gulf Islands Waterpark General Manager Mark Moore. 

An excessive amount of chlorine poured into a small section of the lazy river. Park guests were the first to realize the problem smelling a strong stench. 

"Like a strong chlorine, bleachy smell," Sherice Williams recalled. 

"They sectioned it off and told half of the people to get out that was on that part of the bust," said Logan Buteau. 

Park officials said the chlorine problem was fixed and the closed section of the lazy river was reopened. 

"At a very super high exposure, it could damage your lungs, if you ingested it for a long period of time. But I don't think any of that happened. It wasn't that strong of a concentration. It was just stronger than what you certainly would expect to find in a pool," said Gulfport Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt. 

The substance released was a kind of liquid bleach, sodium hypochlorite, which Beyerstedt described as much stronger than regular household bleach.

Moore said he's sorry to those who were impacted by the chlorine, but said he guarantees the entire park is safe for all guests. Moore said this was the first time this kind of issue has occurred at the park. 

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Now: Traffic returns to normal on I-10 near Ocean Springs

    Now: Traffic returns to normal on I-10 near Ocean Springs

    Thursday, August 17 2017 9:11 AM EDT2017-08-17 13:11:44 GMT
    This is the scene on I-10 after a multi-vehicle wrec (Photo Source: MDOT)This is the scene on I-10 after a multi-vehicle wrec (Photo Source: MDOT)

    All lanes of Highway 90 are now open. A Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman says an 18-wheeler crossed the median on Interstate 10 Thursday morning, causing a deadly series of accidents. It was just before 6:00 a.m. That truck was heading west near the Ocean Springs exit. Suddenly, it veered left, crossed the median and smashed into a motorcycle on the eastbound side of I-10. The MHP spokesman says that motorcycle driver died at the scene.

    More >>

    All lanes of Highway 90 are now open. A Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman says an 18-wheeler crossed the median on Interstate 10 Thursday morning, causing a deadly series of accidents. It was just before 6:00 a.m. That truck was heading west near the Ocean Springs exit. Suddenly, it veered left, crossed the median and smashed into a motorcycle on the eastbound side of I-10. The MHP spokesman says that motorcycle driver died at the scene.

    More >>
  • Dangerous heat could lead to heat related illness

    Dangerous heat could lead to heat related illness

    Thursday, August 17 2017 8:03 AM EDT2017-08-17 12:03:27 GMT
    Dangerous heat expected across the Mississippi Gulf Coast on ThursdayDangerous heat expected across the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Thursday

    Thursday forecast temperatures are in the low to mid 90s. Not too unusual. But, the heat index will rise to dangerous levels for the first time this summer.

    More >>

    Thursday forecast temperatures are in the low to mid 90s. Not too unusual. But, the heat index will rise to dangerous levels for the first time this summer.

    More >>
  • WLOX Editorial: Louisiana flood solution, not a good deal for South Mississippi

    WLOX Editorial: Louisiana flood solution, not a good deal for South Mississippi

    Wednesday, August 16 2017 4:29 PM EDT2017-08-16 20:29:52 GMT

    We are not strangers to flooding on the Mississippi Coast. Nor are our neighbors to the west in Louisiana. There are forever ongoing efforts, planning and discussions about how to mitigate flooding. But a recent study by the Rand Corporation is more than a little disturbing.

    More >>

    We are not strangers to flooding on the Mississippi Coast. Nor are our neighbors to the west in Louisiana. There are forever ongoing efforts, planning and discussions about how to mitigate flooding. But a recent study by the Rand Corporation is more than a little disturbing.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly