Nothing ruins a fun summer swim like suddenly being enveloped in a type of poisonous gas World War I combatants used to shell each other with to clear out the other side’s trenches and suffocate/poison the enemy soldiers with. A bunch of Utah kids found that out the hard way. (The hard way being “inhaling lethal toxic gas”.)
Swimmers at the Pleasant Grove Veterans Memorial Pool in Pleasant Grove, Utah were treated to the world’s worst ever immersive history lesson after a chlorine pump at the pool malfunctioned and forced too much chlorine gas out of one of its jets.
The scene that unfolded was equal parts mess and hellish nightmare. A cloud of chlorine gas overwhelmed the 50 or so pool-goers — mostly children — and immediately began to cause vomiting, coughing, and bleeding from the nose. One woman claimed that she picked up her children and ran out of the toxic cloud as it engulfed them.
Officials say the incident was a freak accident, which is reassuring insomuch that none of us need to start searching for gas masks on Amazon before the next time we go to a pool, but that probably isn’t much comfort to the parents who had to sit by their children in the hospital like they were nursing a wounded British soldier after the Second Battle of Ypres.
So apparently add “the off chance of being poisoned by a toxic cloud” to the reasons owning a pool actually kind of sucks and is a huge hassle. If any of these parents decide to sue the city, the pump manufacturer, and anyone else may I recommend leading off your testimony with the following?
“I remember reading about The Great War as a child. About the poison gas and the unspeakable horrors it inflicted. The text was dry, as history books often are, and the black and white pictures made it all seem so long ago. So… so far away. So impossible to experience here and now. But I tell you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I lived those horrors. They leapt from the pages and in front of my eyes. Into my child’s lungs. Into my nightmares.”
You can go ahead and cut me a check for 10% after you win that slam dunk of a case.