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Tingling, buzzing in ears, metallic taste reported by guests during shock at water park

Posted at 8:49 PM, Jun 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 23:25:44-04

On Sunday, Universal's Volcano Bay water theme park closed after lifeguards and people swimming in one of the attractions reported shocks so severe they feared for their lives.

Universal admitting they suffered electrical issues confirming what guests reported.

"It's like I ran into I guess an electrical field I started experiencing the tingling and prickling burning in my legs at first I thought it was a chemical," Wendy Lee told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska.

Lee was at the park right when they opened at 9 a.m. Sunday. She was with her husband and 14-year-old daughter to celebrate her graduation from middle school.

What was supposed to be a day full of fun lasted only 30 minutes. According to a Universal Orlando Resort report provided to us by Lee, she was checked out by paramedics at 9:36 a.m. The paramedic reporting the cause of her injuries were "electric shock."

Lee was at the Kopiko Wei Winding River when she first noticed something was wrong.

"There was another family in front of me and all of a sudden they started going over the wall to get out of the water," Lee recalled. "The discomfort of the prickles in my legs and the humming in my ears stopped, I believe, as soon as I got out of the pool."

Volcano Bay reopened Thursday a representative for the park said guests felt shocks and other similar sensations while at the park Sunday.

A small number of lifeguards said they also had the same sensations and asked to go to the hospital, but they were quickly released, officials said.

Officials said none of the park's guests asked to go to the hospital and the entire park was closed "out of an abundance of caution."

The park worked with OUC to determine the cause of the electrical problem, which park officials believe has been resolved, according to a release.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed to ABC Action News they have launched an investigation. Park officials said OSHA investigators were at the park Wednesday.

"We know it is disturbing to feel any level of shock in a water park," according to a press release. "We definitely understand and want you to know that the safety - and trust - of our guests and team members is vital to us. Everything we do is motivated by their safety. And that was the case on Sunday."

"I think they did a terrible job they did not take people's safety into account," Lee said. "My incident took place at 930 in the morning. They didn't close the park until six that night. If you don't know where the problem is from the get-go, you close everything, and you narrow it down. I don't think it was handled safely at all."

Lee says until federal authorities clear the park she won't be going back.

"I wouldn't discourage anyone from going," Lee said. "You have the right to know there is a potential problem, and with their initial statement of it being a technical issue that was not fair to the public to hide all that."