ST. CATHARINES, Ontario, July 12 (UPI) -- A chemical accident at a Canadian public swimming pool in the Niagara region Thursday sent 12 people to hospitals, emergency officials said.
Two of the 12 victims were in serious condition after inhaling deadly gas created when a contractor mistakenly poured 20 gallons of liquid chlorine into tanks containing muriatic acid, creating a toxic cloud, firefighters told CITY TV.
Four of the 12 people hospitalized were children, the report said.
St. Catharines Fire Chief Mark Mehlenbacher told CITY the victims included six pool patrons, five employees and a contractor.
The two people in serious condition were a teenage lifeguard and a man in his 40s, CITY said.
A hazardous materials crew was sent to decontaminate the victims and the pool building. Nearby residents were told to keep their windows closed, Niagara This Week said.
Victims were taken to hospitals in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.
Both chlorine and muriatic acid are common chemicals used to maintain pool water safety, but are added to the water separately to dilute.
Strong chlorine gas causes lung tissue to constrict rapidly and produce mucus in amounts that can drown victims.
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