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Six accused after 4-year-old boy drowns at school pool in UAE

Web Report/Sharjah
Filed on January 19, 2019 | Last updated on January 19, 2019 at 06.30 am

(Alamy)

More details were revealed at the hearing.

Six people have been accused of negligence after a four-year-old Emirati boy drowned at a local school in Sharjah last year.

According to details revealed at the court's hearing on Thursday, six persons are responsible for the drowning incident which took place on November 14 at the school premises.

The Emirati owner faces charges of not providing a safe environment protecting children from drowning, first by leaving the allowing the swimming pool to remain unsupervised, without a barrier that prevents kids from falling in, and leaving the doors to the pool without locks or guards.

An Arab physical education instructor, an Italian swimming instructor, an Australian teacher, a Filipino shadow teacher and another Filipino lady were all charged with accidentally causing the child's death and negligence in keeping the swimming area supervised.

A father's shock

The father of the deceased child held the school fully responsible for his son's death because he had informed them his boy is quite active and doesn't know how to swim, and he had asked for that to be put in his file.

He said that on the day of the incident, he received a phone call from the school in English, informing him that his son was ill. Another phone call informed him that his son was at Al Qasimi hospital.

He was unable to contact the school to find out more details, so the father asked his college-aged son to leave the University of Sharjah and go to the hospital to check on his brother while he was coming back from Al Dhaid.

The principal's testimony

The school principal related that he had been in a meeting when he was informed of the child's demise. He went to the clinic to check on him, then called for the ambulance and had the boy transferred to the hospital.

Internal investigations revealed that the children had left the pool area after theswimming lesson in their PE class to change their clothes in the locker rooms.

One of the assistants realised that the boy was missing and began to search for him. She asked the other teacher about him and she told her he must be at the locker rooms. She then found him drowned at the pool area and started screaming. One of the accused came and pulled him out.

The accused all denied the charges brought against them. The next court hearing was postponed till April 6 until the school's legal representative can pay for the civil court fees as well as allow time for the accused to call in legal counsel and prepare defence statements.

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