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30 May, 2024
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Police examine video footage in hotel pool death

Public reaction and criticism in death of 3-year-old girl who went to wrong pool and sank to bottom unnoticed


The death of a little girl, who drowned in water after going for a splash in the wrong swimming pool at a hotel in Paphos, continued to shock public opinion in Cyprus, with investigators still unsure how the child sank to the bottom without anyone taking notice.

(Click here for an update to the story)

A post mortem for 3-year-old Christina Protopapa from Nicosia, who died on Sunday in a hotel swimming pool in Chloraka, confirmed on Tuesday that the child’s cause of death was drowning in water.

Police have obtained video footage from the hotel, with investigators trying to establish the chain of events, including whether or not lifeguards on duty were present at the time

Local media also said state forensic pathologists Angeliki Papetta and Orthodoxos Orthodoxou noted that Christina showed no signs of external injurers or other medical issues.

Police investigators from CID Paphos have been taking statements from hotel guests and staff in order to ascertain the facts just before Christina ended up in the bottom of a large swimming pool minutes after telling mom and dad she was going to a play in the adjacent kid-friendly pool.

The time of the incident remained unclear, with police saying the reported incident took place around 4:50pm while other media networks citing individuals at the hotel said it was 5:15pm.

Paphos police director Michalis Nicolaou said Christina’s family was nearby when the incident took place, referring to her parents and sibling who had been lying on poolside sunbeds nearby.

Police have also obtained video footage from the hotel security cameras, with investigators reportedly trying to establish the chain of events, including whether or not lifeguards on duty were present at the time.

Additional reports said a hotel guest who saw Christina in the bottom of the pool had managed to pull her out of the water with the help of a lifeguard who rushed to his aid, while a British firefighter who was vacationing at the hotel also helped with resuscitation attempts. An ambulance then took the little girl to the ER at Paphos General where doctors pronounced her dead on arrival. 

A funeral service has been scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 5:30pm in Latchia, Nicosia district.

Public reaction and criticism

Police, who are treating the death as a drowning incident, are expected to have a word with the parents after the funeral, while local media said investigators would seek consultation with the state prosecutor’s office at the Legal Department before taking the next step in the case.

Public reaction on social media has been mixed, with many people criticizing a lack of parenting skills and a decision to let a young child go play in the water without parental supervision.

Other social media users pointed out the distraught parents did not deserve the criticism, saying they were mourning the loss of the daughter whose drowning in the large swimming pool went unnoticed by lifeguards and other adults closer to the little girl.

Cyprus  |  Paphos  |  hotel  |  swimming pool  |  drowning  |  police  |  lifeguard  |  accident  |  funeral  |  Christina Protopapa

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