Six-year-old William suffered burning in his eye and was taken to hospital after an incident at the Mission spray park. Several children had a negative reaction to something at the park. RCMP are investigating. / Carli Emary Facebook Photo

Children suffer swollen eyes, burns while playing at Lower Mainland spray park

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

The spray park at the Mission Leisure Centre has been shut down after an incident this morning (July 14) left several children with sore eyes, burning lips and even burns on their face.

Mission Fire Rescue Services and BC Ambulance Services were called to the scene after several children began to cry and complain of a burning pain.

Colleen Draganov was at the park with her children when the incident occurred.

“One of the girls that we were with started crying and she couldn’t open her eyes. Her mouth was stinging and her eyes were stinging. She now has burns on her face.”

A few moments later, Draganov’s daughter began to cry.

“She’s four and she’s crying because her lips are all swollen and red … Then kids just started to come towards us, maybe four or five more.”

They all had similar symptoms.

Draganov called 911 and emergency crews arrived and treated the children.

Carli Emary was also at the park with her two children. Her six-year-old, William, was the first child to begin crying.

“He came out of no where, screaming and covering his eyes. I thought he had been stung by a bee at first, but no, he said ‘it burns, it burns’ and I started to hear other kids screaming,” said Emary.

Staff at the leisure centre offered what assistance they could until the paramedics arrived.

Emary’s son William was taken to hospital, but later released.

“It scared him. He though he was dying at first and then thought he was going blind. I had to calm him down.”

While the cause of the incident is unknown, Emary believes it was pepper spray.

“I got it in my mouth after touching him and I’ve been in a crowd that has been pepper sprayed and it’s the exact same feeling.”

Maureen Sinclair, director of Parks, Recreation and Culture said at this time they do not know what caused the incident.

“The spray park has been closed down at least for the day. Staff are cleaning everything up because it appeared that something was being passed from child to child,” said Sinclair.

“We don’t know what the cause of it was, but we’ll test it and retest it and run it in the morning and make sure everything is OK.”

The Mission RCMP were also called and are investigating.

According to a press release, the Mission RCMP are currently working with the District of Mission to determine the origin of the substance. The District conducted a test of the water shortly after the incident was reported. No irregularities were found in the water, including the chlorine levels. The Mission RCMP Victim Services team has been engaged to reach out to those affected.

“At this point, we can’t confirm what the substance is. We are currently looking at all avenues including engaging our Integrated Forensic Identification Services to identify the substance and it’s origin,” said Corp. Nathan Berze.

The Mission RCMP are requesting that if anyone has any information about this incident, to contact them at 604-826-7161 or report anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at SOLVECRIME.CA.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The water park at the Mission Leisure Centre is closed after several children suffered swollen eyes, lips and even burns on Tuesday afternoon. The park is now being cleaned and Mission RCMP are investigating. / Kevin Mills Photo

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a snow warning for the Kootenays on Friday. File photo
Environment Canada issues snow warning for Friday

Two-to-10 centimetres is expected to fall

Fernie’s Snow Valley Lodging allows the mountain love stories to continue. (Photo Contributed)
Ski-bum love: Shred Kelly’s Mountain Town Love Story Contest kicks off

The competition invites both tales of heartwarming romance or debauched misadventure

Where a five-point bull elk shot in a bow-only area near Sparwood. (Photo contributed by Conservation Officer Service.)
Conservation Officers seek info on bull elk shot in bow-only area

The five-point bull elk was shot near Sparwood on Oct. 18

The most recent council meeting was streamed via Zoom on Oct. 20. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
District of Sparwood revisits support for no-cost contraception

Representatives from Sparwood Contraception Access Advocates brough the matter back to council

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Jack Vellutini, 100, is still making sweet music. Photo: Submitted
Music stirs memories as Trail serenader nears 101st birthday

Jack Vellutini gave his brass instruments to Trail up-and-comers so the legacy of music can live on

BC ELECTION
B.C. political leaders reflect on rural health care as election looms

NDP leader John Horgan, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson talk health care priorities in the Kootenays

Most Read