Two children were left with burns after they came in contact with a chemical meant for pools that had been poured onto playground slides at a US park on Sunday.
Police confirmed that they are still on the hunt for the suspects who were responsible and “may have suffered acid burns” themselves, according to a press release from the Longmeadow Fire Department in Massachusetts.
The children’s mother, Ashley Thielen, took them to Bliss Park playground that morning for what she thought would be a normal day, however, when her kids came to her crying she realised something dangerous had happened, reports The Daily Express US.
“I let the kids go play. I did notice that there was liquid kind of collected at the bottom of the slide. I thought – I just assumed it was rainwater,” Thielen told WGGB.
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She added: “And then my baby, who’s one, just started crying…So that was when I kind of knew that this liquid that they were around was not water.”
Following an investigation it was determined the liquid was in fact either muriatic acid – or hydrochloric acid and had been poured on three slides.
The substance is normally used to clean and disinfect swimming pools, according to the Centre for Disease Control.
Longmeadow authorities confirmed that while it was in the vicinity, it had been “properly” stored in the basement of the park’s pool building.
They believe suspects broke into the pump room and stole the chemical to commit the act.
“A great deal of effort was employed to enter this space. We suspect that the perpetrators may have suffered acid burns to their hands or arms and their clothing may have indications of being degraded from contact with the acid,” the press release added.
Thielen said that her children’s wounds are mostly superficial but said they could have been much worse, according to WGGB.
The playground was thoroughly cleaned by professionals but will remain closed as the investigation continues.