Ogilvie High School

Ogilvie High School

UPDATED Dec. 3, 8:30 a.m.

Eleven 9th-grade students were taken by ambulance to Welia Health and treated for chlorine exposure following an incident at the Ogilvie school pool on Thursday, Dec. 2. All were released from the hospital the same day.  

According to Ogilvie Schools Superintendent Kathy Belsheim, 37 students were swimming as part of their physical education class. Belsheim initially reported an issue with the pool filtration system may have caused excessive chlorine exposure, however the investigation into the cause is still underway. 

Emergency medical personnel were notified and responded to the excessive chlorine exposure to students. The first responders were able to attend to the students. Families of the affected students were notified by school officials.

"We are very fortunate that the physical education teachers and pool maintenance staff acted quickly to get everyone out of the pool and moved into areas with good outdoor ventilation," wrote Belsheim in a press release.

"We are very thankful that the incident was contained to just the pool and locker room areas."

Belsheim reported that some of the affected students returned to school the next day, while others will take the weekend to rest.

Ogilvie’s First Responders and Fire Department, Welia and Princeton Ambulances and Kanabec County Sheriff’s Department all responded to the incident. The swimming pool is shut down until a full investigation is completed by the state.

Chlorine exposure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during or immediately after exposure to dangerous concentrations of chlorine, the following signs and symptoms may develop:

  • Blurred vision
  • Burning pain, redness, and blisters on the skin if exposed to gas. Skin injuries similar to frostbite can occur if it is exposed to liquid chlorine
  • Burning sensation in the nose, throat, and eyes
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Thesemay appear immediately if high concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled, or they may be delayed if low concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled.
  • Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) that may be delayed for a few hours
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing

Long-term complications may occur after breathing in high concentrations of chlorine. Complications are more likely to be seen in people who develop severe health problems such as fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) following the initial exposure.