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25 swimmers poisoned by Nanjing Chlorine leak

TWENTY-FIVE swimmers, including eight children, fell ill yesterday evening after inhaling chlorine gas at a swimming pool in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province - an accident due to a worker's error.
Seventeen people are still being treated in the General Hospital of the Nanjing Military Command and one boy is in a critical condition, today?s Nanjing Morning Post reported.
Two children and three older people are still very sick, while the rest have mild symptoms, the newspaper quoted doctors as saying.
Eight people have recovered and been discharged.
The accident occurred around 7.30pm at a pool on the city's Longpan Road M. when a worker surnamed Wang was about to use Trichloroisocyanuric acid to disinfect the pool, pool managers told the Nanjing Morning Post.
Wang spilled some of the disinfectant on a walkway near the pool. Trying to wash away the chemical, he poured water on it, which released chlorine gas.
Realizing there was a problem, pool employees immediately evacuated the swimmers from the pool and called for police and medical aid, pool managers said. Ambulances and police cars rushed to the pool and transported the sick swimmers to hospital.
Chlorine fell to a safe level an hour later, the managers told the newspaper.
An unidentified woman told the newspaper she went to the pool with her son as usual yesterday. Shortly after entering the pool, she smelled the pungent chlorine and started to have a sore throat and have problems breathing.
She was evacuated with the help of security workers.
Chlorine, a toxic gas, is an important chemical for disinfecting water. It irritates the respiratory system and causes coughing, vomiting and lung damage. It can be fatal after a few deep breaths.


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