patrons treated after being exposed to fumes


Four people, including a child, have been taken to hospital for exposure to toxic fumes, while more than 150 people were evacuated from a busy Sydney aquatic centre on Monday.

Emergency services were called to Hurtsville Aquatic centre in Penshurst about 10.15am following reports of a potential gas leak, later determined to be a hydrochloric acid spill.

A Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman said fire crews arrived quickly to find about 70 litres of hydrochloric acid had leaked into a spa area of the centre, releasing a vapour cloud into the main pool area.

Three adults and one child were treated at the scene and taken to hospital by paramedics.

More than 150 people were evacuated from the centre and firefighters rendered first aid to affected patrons.

Hazmat crews arrived on scene in spillage suits, monitoring the air inside the centre to make it safe.

The leak is believed to have been caused by a fault of an automated system within the pool’s filtration system.

The acid vapour was cleared through natural ventilation and fans.

A NSW Ambulance spokesman said seven crews had been dispatched to the scene.

Inspector David Stride said time had been of the essence in responding to the incident.

“When a patient is exposed to any type of chemical, there’s always an unknown to the extent of their injury,” he said.

“Incidents like this can happen in a matter of seconds, so it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings.

“With the help of FRNSW and bystanders, we did a fantastic job in evacuating the entire facility.”

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