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Spring Lake Park Pool closed for second day following drowning

Published: Jun. 7, 2021 at 12:36 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 4:07 PM CDT
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NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — North Mankato’s Spring Lake Park Pool is closed for a second day following the drowning of a 9-year-old boy on Saturday as officials provide staff support and training.

The North Mankato Police Department says at approximately 6:19 p.m. Saturday, nine-year-old Abdirahman Abdullahi was found unresponsive in about four and a half feet of water.

Lifeguards removed Abdullahi from the pool and began CPR.

He was then transported by paramedics to Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato where he was pronounced dead.

“This is a tragedy that has struck this poor family, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with them in their grief during this what can only be an indescribable tragedy and feelings that they might be going through, and we express our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family.”

Thirteen-year-old Dajahne Williams and her mother were swimming at the Spring Lake Park Swim Facility Saturday when she noticed what happened.

“We went underwater and then we see the little boy, laying there. His head was like down, not like facing up and like we thought he was just like going underwater and then we went back up and looked at him and we’re like he’s not breathing, he’s not moving,” says Williams.

Williams called for help from lifeguards. She says it was minutes until Abdullahi was pulled from the water.

Williams recalls hundreds of swimmers vacating the pool as they watched several people and lifeguards trying to revive him.

“Everybody started screaming and crying and the lifeguards were like back up and all the parents were telling the little kids to go away so they didn’t have to watch,” says Williams.

Abdullahi was a fourth-grader at Hoover Elementary School.

Williams’ mother says the pool was so crowded that it was difficult to keep an eye on each child.

“I just couldn’t believe how many people there was. I just kept thinking about that. It’s always packed. You know, like if you don’t get there early enough, you’re not getting in, because it’s at capacity all of the time,” says Williams’ mother.

Williams says she believes Abdullahi made it to the deep end of the pool unknowingly.

“When he was on the way bottom, I couldn’t even touch him, and it was way deeper than four feet if my feet couldn’t even touch him,” says Williams.

According to city officials, approximately 600 swimmers were in the water at the time of the incident and the capacity of the pool is 1,200 people. City officials also say Abdullahi was pulled from about four-and-a-half feet of water.

An autopsy is scheduled to be conducted by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office. The investigation is ongoing.

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