Monday, August 9, 2004

2-year-old drowns at religious gathering

Boy found in neighboring home's pool

By Reid Forgrave
Enquirer staff writer

LIBERTY TWP. - A toddler drowned in a pool Saturday night during a gathering at a home, police said.

Police said about 20 people were participating in a religious gathering at a home in the 4200 block of Stone Creek Drive in Liberty Township.

Shortly after 8 p.m., Narinder and Sukhbir Bhatti of West Chester noticed their 2-year-old son, Shawn, wasn't in their friend's home.

They began calling for him, and then about 10 adults began searching for the boy. Within minutes, someone saw the boy floating face down in an in-ground pool at a neighboring home.

Someone pulled him from the pool and attempted to resuscitate the boy, who was not breathing. Liberty Township paramedics and Butler County sheriff's deputies took over CPR as the boy was taken to Mercy Hospital Fairfield.

The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital at about 9:30 p.m.

It was at least the fifth drowning death in Greater Cincinnati this year.

A 2001 study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development showed 37 percent of child drowning incidents involve children between ages 1 and 4, and 74 percent of drowning victims are male.

About 1,500 children under the age of 20 drown each year in the United States.



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