Incident at Splash Universe birthday party in Dundee causes children breathing problems

Staffer blames release of heavy ammonia component for incident

By Shawn Ley - Reporter, Natasha Dado

DUNDEE, Mich. - Jessica Mason of Farmington Hills was having her children’s birthday party at Splash Universe Saturday night when she says people suddenly could not breathe. Both kids and adults started vomiting and panic broke out.

UPDATE: MDEQ issues response to incident at Splash Universe in Dundee that endangered children 

Ambulances showed up around 8 p.m. to treat people.  

Mason had nine kids with her for her children’s birthday party when she says people started vomiting all over the water park.

People's eyes started to burn and some people could not breathe.

“They didn’t announce get your kids out. The staff did nothing," said Mason. 

Mason says a staffer told her there was an equipment malfunction resulting in a release of choloramine, which has a heavy ammonia component to it.

Multiple fire and EMS from the area were on-scene treating adults and kids. Mason had three kids from the party checked out by EMS.

“Panic, a lot of kids to gather. People are throwing up -- cannot breathe. Eyes, chest hurts the next day,” Mason said. 

Moms and dads checking out Sunday tell us that those fumes are gone. An insider told Local 4 Splash Universe met with its employees Sunday to go over what happened.

Splash Universe told Local 4 it received permission to open again.

Families say they have complained about the chemicals in the air there previously.

On Monday, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued a statement to Local 4 stating the agency is aware of the incident and ready to provide technical assistance to the Monroe County Public Health Department if it is requested.  

"We are told that the health department did not receive a complaint, but they intend to visit the facility," said Scott Dean of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. 

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