This is so sad. A 14-year-old has died after slipping into the deep end of the pool during a school swimming class.
A Connecticut high school student found dead in his school’s pool last week was reportedly under water for 17 minutes before he was discovered.
Malvrick Donkor, 14, was found in the deep end of the pool at Manchester City High School on Wednesday and rushed to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
But an anonymous source told the Hartford Courant that a surveillance tape from the scene shows Donkor getting into the pool and disappearing underwater, where he then went unnoticed for a significant amount of time even as other students swam around him.
“There’s no splashing, no flailing like you would typically think of,” the source told the paper. “He just slipped underwater. Other kids were swimming over the top of him, not knowing he was down below.”
The source, who claimed to have seen the tape, told the paper that other students can later be seen leaving the pool as P.E. class ends. Only then does one of them realize that Donkor is still underwater.
That student reportedly alerted the swimming teacher Thayer Redman, who pulled the already unresponsive Donkor out of the pool.
911 calls made from the scene of the accident give a clue to the frantic situation at the pool.
“We need help!” a student can be heard saying in one emergency call. “I’m at Manchester High School. We’ve had a student that’s drowned in the Manchester pool.”
The student tells the emergency operator that a teacher is administering CPR. “Now we need medical assistance right away,” he says. “We have a student drowning, our teacher is giving medical assistance. We need help right now.”
When asked how long the student was in the pool, the caller tells 911 “We have no idea.”
Interim School Superintendent Richard Kisiel declined to comment on the tape to the Courant, but confirmed that Redman has been placed put on paid administrative leave.
“While many questions remain about this terrible tragedy, we have very little information to share at this time,” Manchester High School Principal Matt Geary told parents in a letter posted to the school’s website. “An investigation is underway and will be done thoroughly by trained professionals.”
Hundreds gathered on Monday at the school for a vigil for Donkor, who had recently moved to the U.S. from Ghana.
“All his teachers were talking about his beautiful smile … his style, that he loved soccer,” student Shayla Delgado told Fox CT.
In the wake of the tragedy, the school also sought to keep the rest of its students from suffering a similar harm, closing the pool and halting swimming lessons until further notice.
“What happened on Wednesday was a terrible tragedy for Malvrick’s family and friends, for those who were present during the emergency, for those who tried to provide help and support for Malvrick, and for the entire school community,” Geary wrote. “We stand together now as a community in mourning over a student taken from his family and friends far too soon and it is together, through leaning on and looking out for each other, that we will make it through this difficult time.”
R.I.P Malvrick Our thoughts and prayers go out to this young man’s family!