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5-year-old drowns while unattended in Bukit Timah condo pool; mum went home to cook and use toilet

Girl had only 3 swimming lessons and wasn't proficient enough to keep herself afloat

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Singapore – A five-year-old girl drowned in a condominium pool after her mother left her for about 20 minutes to cook dinner at home and use the toilet.

In a coroner’s inquiry on Friday (May 7) to determine the cause of the child’s death, the investigation officer and two other witnesses took the stand, according to the Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao.

The incident is reported to have happened on Oct 8, 2020, at The Asana condominium at Queen’s Road.

The investigation officer disclosed that the mother had taken her daughter to the pool at 6.10 pm.

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Soon after, the mother went back to their apartment to use the toilet. The girl was left at the pool .

The court heard that the mother had also spent some time preparing the family’s dinner. She returned to the pool about 20 minutes later.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed the girl walking along the side of the swimming pool. At about 6.20 pm, some splashes in a partially-obscured pool area were captured by the camera.

A blue-coloured kickboard was also seen floating away. It was presumed that was the moment the girl fell into the pool.

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When the mother returned at 6.31 pm, the girl was nowhere to be found. She circled the pool several times before approaching the security guards frantically to request assistance.

A security guard discovered a body face down in the pool and dived in to retrieve it, reported Wanbao. Afterwards, a resident assisting the mother in her search performed CPR on the girl.

The girl was conveyed to the hospital in an ambulance and placed on life support. The court heard that the girl never regained consciousness.

The girl’s parents made the tough decision of taking her off life support three days later.

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It was mentioned in the investigations that the girl only took three swimming lessons before the incident and was not yet proficient enough to keep herself afloat.

On previous occasions, the mother said, the girl would usually play in the kids’ pool but would transfer to the jacuzzi area to be with the other kids.

On one occasion, she had watched her daughter from the gym. Despite the view of the jacuzzi area being obstructed from her vantage point, the mother said her daughter was safe as there were other adults in the pool.

Further investigations ongoing

The coroner’s verdict on the cause of death has been postponed to a later date due to the father’s additional inquiry on the report.

The CCTV footage showed a Caucasian man walking up to his apartment shortly after the kickboard was seen floating away. The father raised the question whether his daughter had been pushed into the pool.

The investigation officer had contacted the man in question for an interview and was told that he did not see the girl or the board. He added that he had  just entered the condominium from the back gate to head up to his apartment.

The officer conducted no further questioning as she deemed the man was not involved in the case.

However, the father said he wanted to make sure of the time it took the man to reach the pool area from the gate as the two surveillance videos showed different times./TISG

Read related: 14-year old boy who drowned in Changi beach did not know how to swim

14-year old boy who drowned in Changi beach did not know how to swim

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