Monday 16 September 2019

Several children hospitalised after emergency plan triggered at leisure centre pool

Letterkenny University Hospital
Letterkenny University Hospital

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

AT least five people were taken to Letterkenny University Hospital today after an incident at a Donegal leisure centre left swimmers reportedly feeling unwell.

The hospital’s emergency plan was triggered and at least four ambulances and three fire service vehicles attended the scene at Aura Leisure Centre in Letterkenny. Gardaí also attended the scene to divert traffic.

A spokesperson for Saolta, who represent Letterkenny University Hospital, said that an emergency consultant from the hospital was at the scene to refer the five children, who required further observation, to the hospital. It is understood that many others were treated at the scene.

“The emergency medicine consultant from the hospital would have gone with the ambulance service to the site and would have treated and triaged there and would have referred five to hospital,” she said.

Local reports are that around 100 people were evacuated from the centre as children and parents reported a dark fluid leaking into the pool.

It is understood that the children are being held at the hospital for further observation as a precaution. A spokesperson for the HSE told that the emergency incident was quickly stood down after being declared.

He also reassured the public that the incident “only affects those people who were in the pool at that time today".

The centre remains closed after the incident.

Aura Leisure Centre said in a statement on Sunday: "In speaking last night with the parents of the children who were brought to the regional hospital yesterday, we learned that contrary to what we hhad been advised by the hospital yesterday afternoon, two children were in fact retained for observation overnight.

"We deeply regret the misleading statement yesterday that said all children had been discharged, and any upset to the parents and children involved.

"The safety and wellbeing of the children in question is of our utmost concern.

"We will endeavour to maintain close contact with those involved throughout the day."

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