Number of Ill Swimmers Swells to 224

The number of people injured after swimming at a St. Petersburg water park now stands at 224, up from 75 confirmed earlier, RIA-Novosti reported Friday.

Forty-eight people were hospitalized with burns to their eyes and respiratory passages in connection with the incident, which occurred Wednesday at the Waterville water park.

"By 10:30 p.m. on Thursday medical assistance had been rendered to 224 people, of whom 181 were children and teenagers between the ages of 10 months and 17 years," said a spokeswoman for the city's medical department, RIA-Novosti reported.

On Friday, a source at the Federal Consumer Protection Service confirmed that the poisoning was caused by a mechanical failure in the filtration system, which caused it to release toxic levels of chemicals meant to keep the pool clean.

"A maximum dose of chlorine was released into the swimming pool due to the poor operation of the water filtration system," the source told Interfax.