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August 11, 2009

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Chlorine sickens 25 at pool in Nanjing

TWENTY-FIVE people, including eight children, fell ill on Sunday evening after inhaling chlorine gas at a swimming pool in Nanjing City, capital of Jiangsu Province - an accident caused by a worker's error.

Seventeen people are still being treated at the General Hospital of the Nanjing Military Command and one boy is in a critical condition, Nanjing Morning Post reported yesterday.

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 Longpan Road M. when a worker surnamed Wang was about to use trichloroisocyanuric acid to disinfect the pool, managers told the Nanjing Morning Post.

Wang spilled some of the chemical on a walkway near the pool. He poured water on it to wash away the chemical, which released chlorine gas.

Life guards immediately evacuated the pool and called for medical aid and police officers, the report said, citing pool managers.

Chlorine fell to a safe level one hour later, the managers told the newspaper.

An unidentified woman told the newspaper she went to the pool with her son yesterday. Shortly after entering the pool, she smelled the pungent chlorine and started to have trouble breathing. She was helped by security workers.

Chlorine is used to disinfect water. Chlorine gas irritates the respiratory system and causes coughing, vomiting and lung damage.


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