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3 Children Report Electric Shocks While Swimming at South Phila. Pool

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Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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By Paul Kurtz and Carol Erickson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Emergency crews rushed to the scene of the O’Connor Pool, located at 26th and South Streets, this afternoon, after three children were reportedly shocked.  And neighborhood residents say the incident is not the first one this season.

Police say two boys and a girl were rushed to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where they were all reported to be alert and in stable condition.

Susan Slawson of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation says, “There was some kind of shocking going on, we’re not exactly sure. We are investigating.”

A mother of one of witnesses says,”One of the children was about to get out of the pool and touched the ladder and was immediately shocked. Then his sister came over to help him and his sister was shocked.”

Workers from PECO, the electric utility, and the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses & Inspections were quickly on the scene, kneeling by the side of the pool with test equipment, trying to find the source of the electric current.

Area residents say children at the pool have been reporting for the past month or so a sensation of tingling or “pins and needles” when swimming, or especially when using a metal ladder to climb out of the pool.

One child says, “We were climbing up the ladder and it shocked us.” Another recounts, “It was just a little shock and if you were a foot away you could still feel it.”

Their mother Gailyn Dougherty says, “I thought they were nuts until a couple of other kids said their body hurt when they swam near it.”

It was not clear what action, if any, was taken at the time of the initial reports.

The pool is now being drained. No word on when it will be refilled.

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