A father and his two children died after drowning in a swimming pool at the Club la Costa World resort in Las Lagunas de Mijas near Málaga, Costa del Sol, Spain. The family—on holiday from Britain—were enjoying the resort pool.
A 9 year-old girl was swimming with her 12 year-old sister when the younger sibling began to drown. Her father and 16 year-old brother tried to help her, but sadly all three drowned.
The 12 year-old was traumatized but not physically harmed. Grief counselors are working with the girl and the mother of the family.
You can see footage from the UK’s ITV here.
Autopsies revealed all three family members drowned.
Now investigators are citing the pool’s pump system. The 9 year-old’s swim cap was found in the pool’s water circulation pump.
In the United States after several deaths due to people being dragged into pool water circulation pumps, safety measures were mandated. It is unclear what safety devices were employed by the Spanish resort, but a resort worker who entered the pool to retrieve the bodies also experienced difficulty returning to the surface.
A spokesperson for the Spanish Civil Guard told The Times of London:
“Police divers were there after the accident on Tuesday checking over the pool’s operating systems. At this point everything indicates the deaths were accidental, we believe by drowning.”
“What happened was a truly terrible thing.”
But resort operator CLC World Resorts and Hotels said in a statement:
“All at Club La Costa World resort are devastated by the tragedy that unfolded on Christmas Eve where a father and his two children were found unresponsive in a swimming pool and despite the best efforts of our first response team and the emergency services, could not be revived.”
“The Guardia Civil have carried out a full investigation which found no concerns relating to the pool in question or procedures in place, which leaves us to believe this was a tragic accident which has left everyone surrounding the incident in shock.”
“Naturally our primary concern remains the care and support of the remaining family members. We would therefore request that their privacy be respected at this traumatic time.”
Relatives flew from the UK to be with the widow and her daughter.
On Thursday evening the identities of the victims were revealed.
— gail (@bunnygail1977) December 27, 2019
The father was Gabriel Diya.
He is pictured on his Facebook page with his widow, Olubunmi Diya.
His son was 16 year-old Praise Emmanuel.
His younger daughter was 9 year-old Comfort, pictured here with her father.
The Redeemed Christian Church of God posted a tribute to the family on their Facebook page.