• Kyodo

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A 7-year-old girl died after being sucked into a municipal swimming pool’s intake pipe Monday afternoon in Fujimino, Saitama Prefecture, police and firefighters said.

Rescue workers reached Erika Tomaru, a second grader at Kotesashi Elementary School in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, at around 6 p.m. after pumping the water out of the pool, and pulled her out of the pipe at around 7:45 p.m., they said.

She was later confirmed dead at a hospital.

Police questioned the pool’s managers and employees about its operation and management on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in the death.

The pool is operated by a company based in the city of Saitama under a contract with the Fujimino Municipal Government.

Before the accident, lifeguards discovered that one of the drain’s two rectangular aluminum covers, measuring some 60 sq. cm, was not fitted properly to the drain, firefighters said.

A lifeguard saw the girl, who was at the pool with her mother, being sucked into the drain, they said. The girl came to the pool with her mother, two brothers and a classmate.

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