A dozen people, including seven children, were still in the hospital Thursday night, after getting sick at a public pool.
Authorities said more than 50 people were hospitalized following a chemical reaction at the Garfield Park Pool on the south side, Thursday afternoon.
Witnesses said some exposed children were vomiting, coughing and complaining of sore throats and watery eyes. All of the children transported to the hospital were listed in fair condition at last check. Most suffered from respiratory conditions.
Approximately 204 people were at the pool at the time of the incident, including 11-year-old Ryan Williams. He said he was on top of the slide, when he heard a commotion down below.
"C'mon, get out, get out, hurry!" he heard.
He ran into the shower to rinse off and saw kids getting sick.
"There's throw up," Williams said "People are throwing up everywhere. It was, it was scary."
Patricia Davis was with her children and grandson in the kiddie pool when she noticed a foul smell.
"It was just really strong and gassy," she explained. "It hurt your throat when you breathed in."
Then she said she heard the lifeguards blow their whistles and saw everyone make a run for it.
"When we saw all the small children running, we knew that bad smell was something scary," said Davis. "A lot of kids were vomiting, coughing and you could tell there was definitely something wrong with them."
Neither Davis, her family, or Williams were hurt, but Williams said his friend was hospitalized.
"He was having trouble breathing and he was crying and it was scary," he said.
HAZMAT crews surveyed the scene and conducted a chemical check around the pool.
Mayor Greg Ballard said his office is investigating the incident to determine if the incident resulted from a maintenance error. He said they are unsure what caused the reaction, but said it could have something to do with a ‘proportion error’.
Some officials Fox59 spoke with said the reaction could have resulted from a chemical imbalance in the pool.
"It's really scary," said Davis. "You could just tell that there was something bad, really scary going on."