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Maryland Gazette

Six children remained hospitalized Wednesday night after campers and counselors were exposed to dangerous concentrations of pool chemicals at an Edgewater summer camp, a camp spokeswoman said.

Some 31 campers and four counselors were hospitalized Wednesday morning after swimming in the pool at YMCA Camp Letts. At least half of those children were on their way home by Wednesday afternoon, said Jackie Dilworth, spokeswoman for YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.

None of the children or their counselors suffered life-threatening injuries. Dilworth said those hospitalized were having respiratory issues.

A pump that regulates chemicals in the camp swimming pool malfunctioned, said Carla Larrick, vice president of operations for YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.

"The pump went out, probably due to the storm that took place (Tuesday) night," Larrick said.

When the pump restarted, it put an excessive concentration of chemicals into the pool, and the vapors were inhaled by campers swimming at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Larrick said. Officials didn't know how long the children were exposed.

Counselors immediately had the children shower, so the chemicals didn't injure their skin, said Capt. Mike Pfaltzgraff of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

Dilworth said the camp pool remained closed Thursday.

Camp Letts is a YMCA camp at 4009 Camp Letts Road in Edgwater. Parents concerned about the condition of their child should call the camp at 410-919-1410.

July 11, 2014

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