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LenzPolitics calls for investigation after 30 swimmers exposed to severe hydrochloric acid

Neelam Rahimneelam@radioislam.co.za

5 min read | 18:45 CAT

LenzPolitics have called for an immediate investigation after about thirty swimmers from the Atlantis Swimming Club, and the Dolphin Swim School were exposed to hydrochloric acid at the Greyville Swimming Pool yesterday afternoon.

In discussion with Radio Islam International is Julie Adam Cassim, an experienced swimming coach who managed the SA swimming team at the recent Commonwealth Games and leads the Dolphins and Atlantis in Lenasia. She said the pool’s lifeguard had added hydrochloric acid upon her observation while the children were in the water.  

Usually, after the public leaves and just before the swim schools begin their session, chlorine chips are added into the filtration system, which is safe while swimmers are in the water. 

The chlorine chips and hydrochloric acid mixture create a chemical bomb. The fumes that are expelled from that reaction is dangerous and toxic, which swimmers had inhaled.

The hydrochloric acid was added to the filtration chamber on the side where the juniors had been swimming. Julie said children from age nine jumped out and struggled to breathe, gasping for air while others were coughing intensively.

Fortunately, there was the doctor that had accompanied his granddaughter for her swimming lesson and immediately assisted in stabilising the children. He further advised for an ambulance to be called out. 

Saabrie Christy and Pulsate ambulance arrived on the scene. The children were treated for inhalation of the toxic gases, and ten swimmers were transported from Greyville swimming pool to Lenmed Hospital. 

However, five children had been admitted for further medical observation, four of which have the condition of asthma. 

The children are placed in ICU and are monitored 24/7. Julie said they are out of danger but will be monitored for the next 24 hours. 

There has been a history of this particular lifeguard and supervisor of the pool that has not been very supportive toward the swim clubs.  

“They’re always looking at ways to not make it possible for us to train and swim there. I do believe this could have been a form of sabotage, no person in their right mind will mix together the two chemicals as it is absolutely dangerous,” she says. 

According to Julie, The event that transpired yesterday is questionable. The pool was open to the public today, and the same lifeguards were on duty. There was no immediate suspension, nor was there any outcome toward the staff. 

The parents, together with Julie, will now figure out a way forward as the council has not provided any feedback concerning the outcome of the incident.

Listen below to the interview with Mufti Yusuf Moosagie and Julie Adam Cassim on Radio Islam’s podcast.



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