Thane: In absence of lifeguard, 9-year-old drowns in swimming pool

The victim was screaming for help, but the lifeguard was not present at the spot despite being on duty; guard has been arrested

The Singh family in Khadakpada is bereaved. Their 9-year-old daughter, Drusti drowned in front of their eyes in a swimming pool in their housing society in Kalyan on Sunday morning. Though the pool had a lifeguard to save amateur swimmers like her in times of crisis, he was missing from the spot – despite being on duty – when the child was crying for help.

The pool in Rozaliya society where Drasti drowned in Kalyan
The pool in Rozaliya society where Drasti drowned in Kalyan

On Sunday, the girl, along with other children was swimming in the private pool of the Rozaliya society. Soon, the children in the pool started shouting. When curious residents looked outside, they saw Drusti drowning. Her parents also started shouting from the balcony of their home, but by the time they reached the pool, it was too late.

Lifeguard Hemat Raut and Drasti Singh
Lifeguard Hemat Raut and Drusti Singh

“By the time people came to help her, the water had filled her lungs,” said senior inspector Gulabrao Gore of the Khadakpada police station. She was taken to the Rukmanibai Hospital in Kalyan (west), where she was declared dead.

“Had the life guard been present, she would be saved. She died because of him,” said Aryan Singh, Drusti’s uncle. The lifeguard, Hemat Raut was arrested yesterday at around 3pm, and will be produced on court today.

Didn’t perform duty
“Our initial investigation has shown that the lifeguard did not perform his duty properly. He was absent from the spot when the child drowned. So, we have arrested him under section 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code,” said DCP Sunil Bhardwaj.

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