Lafayette recreation center pool reopens after 22 became ill


Bob L. Burger Rec Center in Lafayette closed after possible chemical spill

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LAFAYETTE, Colo. -- Authorities in Boulder County are still baffled about what caused 22 people to be taken to hospitals after becoming sick at the Bob L. Burger Recreation Center on Saturday.

The recreation center reopened at 5 a.m. Monday, two days after the scare. It was closed to the public Sunday, only opening to people who came to pick up belongings left behind after Saturday’s evacuation. The pool will be re-opened to the public Tuesday.

Gail Briydl was in the center’s lazy river with her son and niece when they were forced to evacuate.

“She was coughing and complaining she couldn’t breathe. Chest pains. So it was scary there for a little bit,” Briydl said about her 7-year old niece.

Emergency crews transported 22 patients, many of them children, from the recreation center to five local hospitals. They were all in the pool area, and had symptoms of coughing, nausea and vomiting.

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The center was evacuated and emergency crews were called in, but initial monitoring by the Lafayette Fire Department and Boulder County hazardous materials team were not able to detect any gas or chemical levels in the air.

Briydl returned Sunday to collect belongings.

“All of our clothes are still in there. My shoes are still in there, my towels, everything still in there,” she said.

Initially, Boulder County dispatchers said the situation was caused by a chlorine leak, but according to city officials, the hazardous materials team did not detect any lingering gas or chemicals in the air that might have been the cause.


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