Yet more repairs are needed at Dundee’s Olympia swimming pools after a metal rod fell and nearly hit swimmers, The Courier can reveal.
Part of the tower that supports the red flume became “detached” on Saturday.
The metal rod fell to the ground and was close to hitting unsuspecting swimmers nearby, according to one witness.
The details have emerged after days of silence from operator Leisure and Culture Dundee, which has so far only blamed a “technical issue” for having to shut both the leisure and toddler pools.
It comes less than two months after the crisis-hit centre reopened following a two-year closure and £6 million worth of repairs, which included addressing corrosion on the flumes.
‘The threaded steel rod fell near the chutes and almost hit someone’
Meanwhile, it has further emerged that there has also been an issue with the “dosing” of pool chemicals since the Olympia reopened in December.
One man who was visiting the pool with his family on Saturday has described to The Courier seeing the piece of metalwork falling.
The man, who asked not to be named, said: “We were at Olympia on Saturday when we saw a threaded steel rod falling from near the chutes and almost hitting someone.
“The guy who nearly got hit was sitting on the tiled area near the spiral stair chute exit at the deep end of the pool.
“We were in the main pool and heard a loud clanging of metal bouncing.
“I looked towards the area the sound came from and saw the lifeguard and a guy looking alarmed and towards the ground.
“The guy picked up a piece of threaded steel rod just over a foot long and passed it to the lifeguard.
“The lifeguard looked shocked. She didn’t seem to say anything to the guy and went on to her radio.
“My son thought it came from the red chute area, but it seemed to land too far away from that chute for it to be from there.
“We left the pool pretty shortly after.”
‘Locals will be horrified to hear of latest closure at Olympia Dundee’
A woman who was also there with her son said: “We were queuing to get into the pool when we were told the chutes were going off.
“No one was given a reason why. We got to use the main pool, which was really busy.
“If I’d known a steel bar had fallen down, I would never have gone in with my 10-year-old.”
Dundee-based Scottish Labour MSP Michael Marra, who represents North East Scotland, has previously called for an inquiry into what led to the Olympia’s previous closure.
He said of this latest development: “My constituents will be horrified to learn of these most recent closures at the Olympia.
“The steel rod falling into the pool area is a serious safety issue just weeks after reopening.
“After being closed for more than two years already, with a repair bill of £6m, my constituents will rightly be aghast that these problems weren’t spotted and fixed then.
“Leisure and Culture Dundee must explain urgently how long the pools are closed for and what – if any – repair bill we face now.”
Lib Dem West End councillor Fraser Macpherson, who has also been critical of the Olympia’s problems, said: “It begs questions about the quality of work and of the checks undertaken before the building was handed back to Leisure and Culture Dundee.
“Dundee council taxpayers are entitled to reassurance that the repairs are sound and long-lasting.
“We cannot have continual further closures of Olympia.”
In full: Leisure and Culture statement on latest closure at Dundee Olympia
In a statement, a spokesperson for Leisure and Culture Dundee told The Courier: “Repairs are to be undertaken to the water supply pipework and associated supporting rods serving the red flume at Olympia, which requires attention.
“This follows an incident at the weekend in which a supporting rod within the flume tower became detached.
“No injuries were reported and an investigation is being carried out.
“For precautionary reasons, the pool area has been closed and that will remain the case until remedial works are concluded.
“During this time, investigations are also being progressed with an issue in relation to dosing and balancing of the pool chemicals.
“The wellbeing of pool users is our highest priority. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will keep customers updated as information about reopening is available.
“Meanwhile, we are utilising the adaptive nature of our competition pool to allow both participation and competitive aquatic sport to continue.”