Baby boy drowns in bathtub while mom at school, relatives in house

by Minoru Matsutani

Staff Writer

A 1-year-old boy drowned Wednesday in a bathtub in Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, while his 19-year-old mother was at a night school and his two uncles and three aunts, aged 5 to 14, were in the same house, police said Thursday.

The 14-year-old aunt found the 79-cm boy unconscious in the half-full tub at around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the police said. He was taken to a hospital where he was confirmed dead.

The boy bore no signs of injury and his clothing indicated there was no struggle, the police said, adding they concluded the death was accidental. The bathroom door was open, they said.

The boy was with the two uncles and three aunts in the same room but went to the bathroom by himself without anybody noticing, the police quoted the aunts and uncles as saying.

The bathtub measures 38 cm high from the floor but is 58 cm deep.

The boy’s grandmother, 41, was out of the house at the time and his grandfather lives elsewhere.