(Warning: CCTV video may be disturbing to some viewers)
A three-year-old boy drowned in a public swimming pool only a few meters behind his mother who was busy playing with her smartphone in Shaanxi province.
The accident happened at the Xianyang Ocean Hotspring World, where a woman surnamed Xiao took her daughter, aged six, and the victim for a swim around noon on Tuesday, thestandnews.com reports.
The two children were playing together in the shallow portion of the pool.
At around 5 p.m., the mother asked the kids to leave the pool, but the boy requested to stay for another five minutes.
A few minutes after the daughter left the pool, Xiao noticed that her son was nowhere in sight.
She asked staff at the pool for assistance and even called her husband, but still they could not find the boy.
It took an hour before one of the staff located the boy’s body at the far end of the pool.
A CCTV footage revealed that the boy was struggling in the pool where it was 1.3 meters deep for three full minutes, while his mother was just a few meters away looking at her phone.
Initial investigation revealed that after the daughter left, Xiao’s son swam to the deeper end of the pool and started to drown without anyone noticing him.
He was no longer breathing when he was taken out of the pool.
Xiao said her son, who was two months away from his fourth birthday, would still be alive today if there was a fence between the shallow and deeper parts of the pool.
She also said she had not seen any professional lifeguard at the facility.
The area where the accident occurred has two pools with different water depths.
In between the two pools stood a wall about 30 centimeters tall with notices saying “no diving” and “no children allowed unattended”.
The Ocean Hotspring World has suspended operation following the accident, Huashang News reported.
A spokesperson for the establishment said they have people patrolling the area without disclosing the actual number of staff deployed.
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