Sat, Apr 1, 2017

One Child Has Died And Five Others Were Injured Because Of A Toxic Gas Leak At An Indoor Hotel Pool

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A 13-year-old boy has died and five others were injured at an indoor swimming pool at Michigan Quality Inn & Suites Saturday morning, police said.

A toxic carbon monoxide leak is believed to have caused the deadly incident, Niles City Police officials told BuzzFeed News in a statement.

Capt. Don Wise of the Niles Fire Department told reporters at the scene that a hotel worker found the children passed out on the pool deck, prompting the first emergency call just before 10 a.m. Saturday.

Officials said carbon monoxide detectors immediately detected toxic levels of the odorless gas in the pool room when they first went in and they were able to pull the children out as they were leaving the room.

“All the responders took a little bit of a risk as they tried to pull the kids out,” Wise said.

One Niles city officer, a Barrien County deputy, and two hotel employees were also treated for overexposure to the gas, police said.

The children were between 12 and 14 years old, police said.

Officers quickly started to check if the children were breathing and began conducting CPR on those who needed it, according to the statement.

One of the children, identified as 13-year-old Bryan Douglas Watts of Niles, was unable to be revived and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Local NBC affiliate WNDU reported that officials told them a malfunctioning pool heater is believed to have been responsible for the carbon monoxide leak. They also reported that there was no carbon monoxide detector in the area of the pool.

Wise told reporters a non-toxic level of carbon monoxide is about 50 parts per million. The pool room where the children were discovered was found to be at 800 parts per million when firefighters first entered.

The gas is odorless and, though early effects could cause dizziness and flu-like symptoms, it can go undetected, officials said.

“At those levels they don’t have much time before they go unresponsive,” Wise told reporters.

Police said officers conducted a room-to-room evacuation of the hotel, including some areas that were found to have high traces of carbon monoxide.

One child found in a first-floor room at the hotel told officers she had been in the pool room earlier with the other six children, and she was treated.

The hotel has been closed for the time being, police said.


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