Eight people being treated for chlorine inhalation at Happy Day School in Portage

by JEREMY NOBILE | RECORD-COURIER REPORTER Published:

Six children and two adults are being treated for chlorine inhalation after a large amount of the chemical was accidentally released into a pool at Happy Day School in Franklin Township.

Kent Fire Department Lt. Patrick Edwards said medics were called to the pool right around 1 p.m. today for reports of at least a dozen people sick from chlorine. Some were coughing and vomiting, he said.

Pat Macke, superintendent of the Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities, which operates the school, said a swimmer apparently hit an emergency shut-off switch for a pump that releases chlorine into the pool.

He said a custodian turned the pump back on, releasing a concentrated amount of chlorine that apparently backed up in the pump in a "highly unusual" incident.

Happy Day School, located on Brady Lake Road, provides early intervention, early childhood education and school age special education services. The people who were injured were part of an Akron Rotary Camp, which is contracted through the Portage County board to administer a summer camp program at the facility for individuals ages 3 to 22 who are eligible to receive county services.

Macke said the pool should be open again Wednesday.

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