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Family hospitalised after cleaning fish tank

Coral in a fish tank at this Aldinga Beach property is believed to have released toxic spores. Picture: Doug RobertsonSource:The Advertiser
Coral in a fish tank at this Aldinga Beach property is believed to have released toxic spores. Picture: Doug RobertsonSource:The Advertiser

AN Aldinga Beach house has been quarantined and a family of seven is in hospital after cleaning coral in a home aquarium, which apparently released toxic spores into the air.

Emergency crews were called to the Sunday Boulevard home at about 2am on Tuesday after a couple and their five children became unwell several hours after cleaning their fish tank.

CFS regional officer Peter Phillips said it was understood the family had cleaned coral from the tank with a scrubbing brush "and that's liberated the spores".

Country Fire Service SA hazardous materials (hazmat) specialist Sam Quigley says the spores may have caused some sort of chemical reaction.

The family was taken to hospital and their home quarantined, with authorities delaying entry as they tried to work out how to handle the bizarre incident.

CFS volunteers in hazmat suits outside the Aldinga Beach home. Picture: Doug RobertsonSource:News Corp Australia
CFS volunteers in hazmat suits outside the Aldinga Beach home. Picture: Doug RobertsonSource:News Corp Australia

 

Two dogs were also reportedly retrieved from the house.

"We're on a bit of a fact-finding mission as this is a very peculiar incident to us as well," Mr Quigley told ABC radio on Tuesday.

The CFS is speaking with marine biologists with expertise in coral to seek their advice on decontaminating the house.

"It's a very unusual job for us, we haven't come across something like this in South Australia," Mr Quigley said.

Expert hazardous materials officers were called after the family became ill from what was initially identified only as an unknown gas.

They are being treated at Flinders Medical Centre and their condition is stable.

 

Topics:  editors picks family poison

News Corp Australia

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