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Eisenhower Park pool closed by fallen light fixture

The Olympic-size swimming pool at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in Eisenhower Park will be closed, at least for the weekend, after a 40-pound light fixture crashed into it Wednesday. "Absolutely nobody was injured," said Ian Siegel, the deputy county executive for parks and public works, adding that the pool and deck area were closed to the public immediately. He said about 75 people were in the pool at 12:45 p.m. when the fixture tore loose from its station and wires, dropping about 55 feet into the shallow end of the pool. "There were about 20 more people on the deck area," he added. The remains of the shattered light fixture and its Lithonia 400-watt metal allied bulb were pulled out of the water by hand, Siegel said. He added that the pool will be vacuumed and a diver brought in to make sure no debris was missed. "We are also working with the health department to determine if the pool will need to be drained to complete this work," he said. Siegel said an expert firm will inspect all light fixtures and ceiling hardware, and that the facility will not be reopened until it is determined to be safe for the public. The aquatic center has been problematic since it opened in 1998. When problems worsened, in 2004 the county filed a lawsuit, still unsettled, against eight principals responsible for building the center. The defendants, including the state Dormitory Authority and the Empire State Development Corp., contended in their response to the lawsuit that the problems were the result of improper maintenance by the county or were the work of others. County officials said the case will be going to mediation soon.

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