A five-year-old girl was found to have drowned in a condominium pool on October 8, 2020.
The incident happened at The Asana condominium along Queen's Road, at around 6:30pm.
According to Lianhe Wanbao, following a coroner's inquest on Friday, May 7, an investigation officer and two witnesses were called to the stand.
Mother had left for 20 minutes
According to the recounted sequence of events, the daughter had drowned after her mother left her unattended for 20 minutes, to head home to use the toilet.
The investigation officer said that the mother had taken her daughter down to the swimming pool at around 6:10pm. She had rushed home not long after to use the toilet. At home, she also spent some time preparing dinner for the family.
Her daughter was thus left alone at the swimming pool.
Based on CCTV footage, the mother had then returned to the swimming pool area at around 6:30pm. Realising her daughter was missing, the mother could be seen circling the pool a few times before frantically seeking the help of the condominium's security officers.
A security officer had subsequently spotted the girl lying face down and motionless in the pool, and hurried to retrieve her.
The unconscious girl was placed on a deck chair by the pool, after which a resident helped to perform CPR on her.
Lianhe Wanbao reported that the girl was then conveyed to the hospital in an unconscious state.
She never regained consciousness, and after three days, her parents made the heartbreaking decision to take their daughter off life support.
Daughter did not know how to swim
According to investigations, the girl had only attended three swimming classes prior to the incident, and was unable to keep herself afloat.
The depth of the swimming pool was at 1.3 metres, but the girl was only 1.06 metres tall.
CCTV footage showed that the girl had been walking along the side of the pool, from the main pool to the jacuzzi area and then back again. At about 6:20pm, footage of a partially-obscured area of the pool had captured sudden ripples on the surface of the water.
A blue-coloured kickboard was then seen floating away.
It was surmised that that was the moment the girl had fallen in.
According to Lianhe Wanbao, the father subsequently raised further clarifications on the coroner's report.
A Caucasian man had been spotted walking towards his apartment shortly after the blue kickboard was seen floating away.
The father raised the question of whether the man had been interrogated in relation to the case, and suspected that someone might have pushed his daughter in.
The investigation officer said that she had already contacted the man, and he had explained that he had come in from the condominium's back gate and headed to his apartment. The man claimed to have not seen the girl nor the board.
However, the father wanted clarity on how long it would take the man to walk from the back gate to the pool, given the timings indicated by different CCTV footage.
To allow further investigation, the coroner's verdict on the child's death has been postponed to a later date.
Top image via Google Maps