Elementary school student dies after drowning in water park: The DONG-A ILBO


Police are investigating a case in which a first year student at an elementary school died more than 40 days after falling into a coma due to drowning in a water park. When spotted, the child was floating in the water for about eight minutes after losing consciousness in the accident, but no lifeguard or guardian from the taekwondo academy who brought the child to the water park ‘have noticed.

Police said a seven-year-old boy lost consciousness after drowning in Hongcheon Water Park, Gangwon Province on June 25 and was taken to hospital. He died on August 5, 41 days after the accident. According to CCTV footage, the boy drowned at 10:41 a.m. and was rescued between 10:48 and 10:49 a.m. Wearing a life jacket, the boy floated face down in the water for seven to eight minutes. Lifeguards at the water park didn’t recognize him until a tutor from another taekwondo academy spotted him. A tutor from his own academy only rushed to the scene after being called.

At the time, more than 160 students from five taekwondo academies came to the water park as a group. They included around 40 students and two tutors from the boys’ academy. Notably, the wave pool where the boy drowned could only be accessed by a child 120 centimeters or less accompanied by a guardian. The boy was 117 centimeters tall so was only allowed to use when accompanied by a guardian, but the academy’s guardians may not have followed this rule.

“I wouldn’t have sent my son to the water park if I had known that so many students from different taekwondo academies were going there in groups,” the boy’s mother told reporters. “If a lifeguard or taekwondo academy tutor had caught it early and hadn’t missed the golden hour, my son would have survived.”

Police are investigating the guardians and managers of the water park academy for negligent manslaughter and breach of the Serious Accident Act. “We are investigating the exact cause and the situation around the accident based on analysis of CCTV footage and testimony from witnesses and others,” an official from the Gangwon Police Department told reporters.

In-Mo Lee [email protected]

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