Chemical spill prompts evacuation at Garfield Aquatics Center


The pools at Garfield Aquatics Center in Garfield Park were evacuated Thursday afternoon after a reported chemical spill.

In all, 79 people, mostly children, were taken to four local hospitals to be checked out after complaining of watery eyes, vomiting and coughing.

"We noticed a foul smell but we didn't think anything of it until we saw a lot of kids running around getting sick and coughing. Next thing you know they're evacuating the pool and everybody had to leave," said Patty Davis, a woman who was at the pool with her grandson.

Twenty-one patients were taken by ambulance and 50 were taken by IndyGo bus to local hospitals.

It's believed that a muriatic acid product was mixed with a chlorine-like substance to treat the pool. The mix was dumped in the water around 2:00 pm. Crews are investigating whether or not a worker mixed the chemicals incorrectly.

The incident closed the center for the day.