By Martin Sadongdong
What was supposed to be a day of relaxation turned in a tragic Good Friday when at least 14 minors were hospitalized after they allegedly inhaled chlorine and started vomiting while swimming at a resort in Pandi, Bulacan.
The 14 minors, whose identities were withheld as of press time, were already declared in stable condition by attending doctors, according to Police Major Avelino Protacio Jr., acting chief of police of Pandi Municipal Police Station.
Initial investigation disclosed that the victims were swimming at Sitio Antonio Resort in Barangay Bagong Barrio, Pandi around 9 a.m. when they all started vomiting and experienced difficulty in breathing. It was not clear if the victims were related to each or not.
Citing an unnamed executive from the resort, Protacio said the victims “smelled chlorine” before they turned sick.
The police referred to the incident as a case of excessive “chlorine inhalation.”
The victims were then rushed to the nearby Rogaciano Memorial Hospital for medication.
Protacio said 10 of the victims have already checked out of the hospital, three remain at Rogaciano Memorial Hospital while one was transferred to Bulacan Medical Center in Malolos City.
Police have conducted a follow-up investigation to determine the liability of the resort as Protacio revealed that the management tried to “hide” the incident from the authorities.
According to Protacio, there was a Police Assistance Desk (PAD) near the resort, but it took management several hours before they asked for help.
“The police personnel manning the PAD nearby were not informed of the incident as the management tried to manage secretly the incident,” Protacio noted.
The Manila Bulletin tried to reach out to the management of the resort for a statement to no avail.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier reminded parents and guardians to always look after their children.
Latest available data showed that from April 5 to 16, at least 18 drowning incidents with 18 fatalities have already been reported to the police nationwide.