All pools at the Spa Castle luxury complex in College Point have been closed following an investigation into the recent near-drowning of a 6-year-old girl, according to the New York City Health Department.
The closure was the result of a special probe of the facility’s safety features after the incident, a Health Department representative told QNS. The girl was pulled under the water and unable to reach the surface after her hair got stuck in a pool vent.
“The Health Department has ordered the closure of all pools at Spa Castle in Queens after an ongoing investigation found the facility was not following safety standards,” the department said in a released statement. “The facility’s pools will remain closed until a revised safety plan has been put into place, and the Health Department is satisfied that Spa Castle is compliant.”
A source said that investigators determined that alterations had been made to two spa pools without previous health department approval and inspection. Authorities ordered immediate closure of the pools and said the alterations may or may not have influenced the incident.
A Health Department review of video surveillance of the incident also revealed that the facility is “clearly” out of compliance with its safety plan.
Three major infractions can be seen on the video, according to authorities. Excessive suction by a water return feature which was sufficient to draw the victim toward it and keep her underwater. Resuscitation efforts by the staff were inconsistent with what was reported to health department inspectors as well and the spa pool feature was used in a way more consistent with a swimming pool than a spa.
After viewing the surveillance video, the Health Department issued a Commissioner’s Order for the immediate closure of all Spa Castle pools in addition to the initial closure of the two pools which had been illegally altered.
According to authorities, no pool feature will be reopened until a revised safety plan is put in place, which may take days, weeks or longer depending on Spa Castle’s response to official inquiries and requirements.
Spa Castle Chief Operations Officer Stephanie Chon said the pools at Spa Castle College Point will be closed until a third party analysis is complete.
“We are deeply committed to the safety of our patrons and are complying fully with the New York City Department of Health following a recent accident involving a child in one of our spa pools,” Chon said.