- Special Sections
- Public Notices
SANTA CLAUS - At least 40 Holiday World & Splashin' Safari guests were treated and released at a Jasper hospital Saturday evening after being exposed to liquid bleach and muriatic acid in the Bahari River area of the water park.
Park officials said the incident occurred around 6:25 p.m. when someone discovered that a filter pump had been turned off. When it was turned back on, stronger-than-usual concentrations of the two chemicals were pushed into the water. People in the water began experiencing breathing difficulties and were treated at the scene by park staff, including first-aid personnel who administered oxygen.
About two dozen people were transported to Memorial Hospital & Healthcare Center and were treated and released that evening.
Paramedics and emergency-medical technicians from Spencer, Perry and Dubois counties responded to the scene, as did firefighters, sheriff's deputies, Santa Claus police officers and first responders.
Several other park visitors drove themselves to the hospital.
Paula Werne, a spokeswoman for Holiday World and Splashin' Safari, said an interlocking system designed to prevent bleach and muriatic acid from being pumped into the water when a pump is off did not function properly. The system was repaired and Bahari River reopened Sunday.
Bleach raises the water's pH and acts as a sanitizing agent while muriatic acid lowers water pH to proper levels.
Other areas of the water park use a different chemical feeder system and were not affected.