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

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

 

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

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

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

The City of Nanaimo, as seen from the Nanaimo Parkway. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo’s state of the economy report points to positive outlook in hard times

Job losses and shutdowns have hurt, but some sectors showing resiliency

Firefighters from three departments battled a house fire south of Nanaimo for more than nine hours Sunday. (Photo courtesy Martin Leduc)
Home destroyed by fire south of Nanaimo

Firefighters from three fire departments battle blaze fanned by strong southerly winds on Sunday

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared over at Eden Gardens. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Nanaimo’s Eden Gardens

One staff member and one resident tested positive for the virus over past two weeks

Gabriola Island poet Naomi Beth Wakan’s latest book is ‘Wind on the Heath.’ (Photo courtesy Elias Wakan)
Former Nanaimo poet laureate revisits past poems in latest collection

Gabriola Island’s Naomi Beth Wakan presents career-spanning ‘Wind on the Heath’

The south coast of B.C. as capture by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. (European Space Agency)
VIDEO: Images of B.C.’s south coast from space released by European Space Agency

The satellite images focus on a variety of the region’s landmarks

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

FILE – Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli, left, shoots and scores his team’s first goal against Kelowna Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle during second period action at the Memorial Cup final in Quebec City on Sunday, May 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province

League includes Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants, Victoria Royals

The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted
Nelson society raises $400K to save regional park from logging project

The Nelson community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

A public health order has extended the types of health care professionals who can give the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
‘It’s great that midwives are included’ in rollout of B.C.’s COVID vaccine plan, says college

The order will help the province staff the mass vaccination clinics planned for April

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Canadian economy contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020, worst year on record

Drop was largely due to shutdowns in the spring as COVID began to spread

Most Read