Hampden County

Officials: Two children burned after acid was poured onto several slides in Longmeadow playground

LONGMEADOW, Mass. — Two children were burned and an investigation is underway in Longmeadow after authorities say stolen pool chemicals were poured on playground equipment over the weekend.

Officers responding to a report of a suspicious substance in the area of Bliss Park Playground around 9:40 a.m. on Sunday found three slides covered in an acidic material, according to the Longmeadow Fire Department. At the same time, EMS officials say they were dispatched to a home for a report of two children with “burn-like injuries” after leaving the park.

A hazardous material response team was called to the playground to investigate.

Officials determined the pump room in the pool building had been broken into, with the suspects climbing through the ventilation shaft. The suspects allegedly stole muriatic acid and poured it on the slides at the playground.

“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 Longmeadow Fire Department said in a statement. “The pool chemicals had been stored properly in a secured area. A great deal of effort was employed to enter this space.”

A specialty contractor was called in to clean the playground and other materials. After the cleaning, the town says they’ll make a determination as to whether or not to open the play area back up.

The playground area will remain fenced off for the time being, according to officials.

Anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area on Saturday night, or knows of anyone with new burns to their hands, arms, or clothes is asked to call Longmeadow Police.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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