North Carolina

Chemical leak at YMCA pool sends 42 to hospital, six kids in serious condition

A North Carolina YMCA was closed Wednesday after a sodium hypochlorite leak sent 42 people to area hospitals, including six children in serious condition.

Durham police said in a statement that the chemical was released around 2:45 p.m. at the downtown YMCA. The statement said 34 children and two adults were treated for non-serious injuries. 

Authorities say the six children in serious condition were exhibiting symptoms such as vomiting, respiratory illness, and skin and eye irritation. Their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Durham Deputy Fire Chief Chris Iannuzzi said there was a report of a leak in the pool's disinfection system, and a hazardous materials team was on the scene trying to determine how to stop it.

Local YMCA spokeswoman Jennifer Nelson told WRAL a lifeguard noticed a strong chemical odor near the indoor pool pump room. 

Durham County spokeswoman Dawn Dudley told the News & Observer that thirty-nine people were actually in the pool at the time of the leak.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.