City of Joondalup CEO Garry Hunt has responded to questions from SPLASH! about the incident:
“The City has engaged two independent specialist aquatic contractors to investigate the incident at Leisure Centre – Craigie and to identify the probable cause and any contributing factors,” he says.
“The aquatic facilities were closed for just two days before they were reopened to Leisure Centre Members and the community on Saturday 23 August.
“The incident did not involve the mixing of dry chlorine with acid. The facility has operated chlorine gas for water treatment and disinfection since January 2010.
“The City will engage with the industry peak body, LIWA aquatics, to provide learnings and share findings and outcomes from the incident.”
Below is the original story:
The Joondalup Leisure Centre at Craigie in north Perth was evacuated following a chlorine incident on Thursday August 21.
According to reports, chlorine gas started seeping through the vents just after 11am. The gas then sat on top of the pool water and many swimmers breathed it in.
Staff members provided care to patrons before ambulance officers arrived at the scene. Eight people including four children were taken to hospital to be treated for chlorine inhalation and were released that afternoon, while up to 30 adults and children were treated onsite by paramedics.
Channel Nine interviewed paramedic Blaze Rego onsite and he said: “They were displaying common symptoms of airway irritation: nausea, shortness of breath and some tummy upsets. Our main concern was to get the children out and assessed immediately.”
The facility remained closed for the rest of the day, with the dry facilities opening at 3:30pm and the aquatic facilities opening on the Saturday.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services conducted a hazard response inspection and once they were satisfied there was no immediate health threat to patrons, they handed the facility back to the aquatic centre management.
City of Joondalup CEO Garry Hunt said a full and independent investigation into the incident was now underway to determine what happened.
“The City’s first priority in emergency situations is the health and safety of our patrons and management made the decision to close the entire facility down in the interest of public safety,” he said.
“The highly-trained leisure centre staff were able to evacuate the entire centre in a matter of minutes.
“Leisure Centre Craigie is one of the most popular leisure centres in WA and from time to time incidents like this can occur at facilities where chemicals are involved. The City apologises to anyone who was inconvenienced by this matter, particularly those patrons who experienced discomfort and required medical treatment.”
The indoor and outdoor pools at the leisure centre have now reopened with all programs and classes back to normal.
Image: Channel Nine News