44 people were injured in the popular summer tourist resort Shuyiyun Water Park in Northeast China on 29 July.
Differing reports have come from the park, officials and from witnesses to the event. The park is currently shut for investigation.
As reported by Ebaums World, a spokesperson for the water park made the following statement:
"It was caused by a mechanical fault. Only around 10 people were injured."
Reports from officials, however, claimed that around 44 people were injured, with three still in hospital with broken bones and cuts.
A Twitter user, meanwhile, reported that the "machine operator was drunk":
Water world Tsunami injuring many in Yanbian, Manchuria. The operator got drunk and turned the wave magnitude to maximum level. pic.twitter.com/PjKTBelPRA— Augustus Manchurius Borealis (@1984to1776) July 30, 2019
While this theory was spread, and believed by many, on social media, local government attributed the incident to “a power cut that damaged electronic equipment in the tsunami pool control room, which led to the waves in the tsunami pool becoming too big and injuring people,” as the South China Morning Post reports.
Are wave pools dangerous?
Wave pools are typically operated by using big blowers, or fans, to blow air into the water in order to generate waves. These blowers act like scaled-up versions of jacuzzi jets and can be controlled so as to generate powerful sea-like waves.
This type of malfunction is very rare. However, problems do occur with people accidentally crashing into each other in typically crowded wave pools. Injuries can occur due to the speed and power at which people are propelled by the waves.
The popular water park was opened in 2015. Investigations into the incident are ongoing and the wave pool and water park will remain closed until further notice.