‘They failed us’: More people report hospitalizations from tainted water

One woman has been hospitalized for three days and says she was just diagnosed with "hydrocarbon toxicity."
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 5:45 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 10, 2021 at 11:38 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Navy mom Jamie Simic lives in military housing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Recently, she noticed the ice in her freezer had an odd yellow color.

She later learned she was drinking, washing in and smelling fumes from the Navy’s fuel-tainted water.

And on Monday, she went to Tripler Army Medical Center’s emergency department after enduring severe pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

Hawaii News Now spoke to her from her hospital bed.

“The first thing is fear. It’s anger, but I’m trying not to be angry,” Simic said.

She said doctors on Thursday confirmed she likely had “hydrocarbon toxicity” from short-term exposure, but she believes her illness from the water has made her sick for much longer.


“They failed us and they are continuing to fail us. No doctor should be saying that this spill was only happening for two weeks,”she said.

Simic said before being admitted into the hospital, she was in a medical triage tent outside the ER with several other patients complaining of illnesses.

“I know there’s a lot. There was a steady flow for the two hours that I waited to get a bed,” Simic said.

Over the past few days, Hawaii News Now has spoken with several people who went to the emergency room or sought medical treatment for illnesses believed to be related to the tainted water. Hawaii and mainland attorneys are now compiling names for a possible class-action lawsuit against the Navy.

“It’s going to turn into thousands. We found out late last week until today, the Navy knew about polluting water for decades,” said attorney Michael Green.

Simic’s family is now staying in a Waikiki hotel.

As for her home, she says the fuel smell has turned to a chlorine smell.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono says 100,000 people have been impacted by the tainted water and 2,800 families have been displaced.

Hawaii News Now reached out to Tripler and the Navy, but did not hear back.

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