Terrifying start to Windsor family's March break when large duct falls into pool at Kalahari resort
'All I was thinking was ‘Were my kids in this pool?' As a mom it was just pure fear, I was scared'
Tasha Hummel said her family spent about three uninterrupted hours together Monday at the start of their family vacation before a terrifying incident interrupted their March break plans.
They had just arrived at the popular Kalahari water resort in Sandusky, Ohio, when a large portion of tubing fell from the ceiling right into the wave pool area where people were swimming.
It happened as Hummell and her husband were using the washroom, right before walking over to watch their two kids, aged 12 and 15, play basketball.
"In that 5 minutes that we had gone to the bathroom and were going to walk over to where they were, this thing collapsed," said Hummell. "All I was thinking was 'Were my kids in this pool?' As a mom it was just pure fear, I was scared."
Hummell and her husband split up immediately, desperately searching for their kids in a very chaotic scene.
I just saw other parents running around and crying and little kids crying that were in the wave pool when it fell and scared,- Tasha Hummell
"I just saw other parents running around and crying and little kids crying that were in the wave pool when it fell and scared," she said.
One lifeguard looked to have been hit in the head by the tube, and other people were visibly injured said Hummell.
The Erie County Sheriff's Office described the injuries as minor, but two people were treated and released from a
hospital, while three others refused treatment.
this pipe fell into the pool at Kalahari and the workers tried to stop me from taking a video lmao <a href="https://t.co/PY5pRcPj7V">pic.twitter.com/PY5pRcPj7V</a>—@JaceBarrett24
"I know it had hit one of the lifeguards directly in the head and I had seen another lifeguard walking around being escorted — being held up pretty much — by other people, his head was cut open. I had heard that some people got rushed to the hospital."
Staff were trying to evacuate the pool area where Hummell and her husband set a 'family meeting place' for her and her kids.
There was clearly no direction and clearly no preparation for an emergency situation like this,- Tasha Hummell
"At that point they said they had sent everyone out to the arcade area and as a mom I kind of lost it. I said 'You sent kids out to an arcade area unguarded no shoes no nothing?' at which point they said you should have had a meeting area."
After 45 minutes, she found her kids with no injuries to report. But Hummell said there needs to be a better plan.
Went to kalahari for a fun day with my daughter and now we have to leave bc of the tubes fell <a href="https://t.co/2S3j9M33q5">pic.twitter.com/2S3j9M33q5</a>—@Philsmarshmalow
"There was clearly no direction and clearly no preparation for an emergency situation like this," she said.
She said she feels for the resort staff who were trying to do everything they could to assist guests.
Windsor resident, Isabelle Alliet and her family were also at the resort when the ducts fell down. Her 12-year-old son Nathan was in the pool when it happened.
"All I hear was like a screeching noise and when we turned around part of the duct was down," Nathan said. "All I see is everybody running out of the pool and a lot of adults running in to get their kids."
Nathan also saw one of the lifeguards who was injured.
"He got hit on the head and there was blood all over his face," he said.
Both families are planning to spend the night at Kalahari, but aren't sure if the incident will change their holiday plans.
Police said the water park will remain closed until local and state officials finish their inspections. Kalahari said it's working closely with its internal teams and authorities to determine exactly what happened.
Arrives at Kalahari as their kicking everyone out because a ceiling tube fell <a href="https://t.co/3Juv1I0Dhs">pic.twitter.com/3Juv1I0Dhs</a>—@Zoe_R7
With files from The Canadian Press