Mar 082011

A 4-year old child died after drowning in his apartment complex pool on Sunday evening.

Family members, neighbors, and friends spend at least 45 minutes searching for little Darshan Kharel, but could not find him.

Tucson Police were called out, and found the boy at the bottom of the pool. Police performed CPR until medics arrived.

Family members told KOLD News 13, the boy was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police said the pool was closed, and located behind a locked gate.

Family members said they had checked in the pool area, and that the gate was unlocked, but locked by a caretaker later, after they found nothing there.

Family members say the pool waters were dank and murky, and they did not see the boy at the bottom of the pool.

Emotions were charged in the parking lot, as police investigated this drowning. Some neighbors were shouting at the family, saying they had been careless.

Howard Haines said he was very sad and angry.

“I have asked them several times to keep this little boy inside. He is mentally challenged. I’ve told them to keep him over there. That kid is going to be hit by a car. I’ve brought him from the middle of the road already twice,” said Haines.

Neighbor Becca Lewis said she was heartbroken.

“I saw an officer with a baby in his hands, and he was running him into an ambulance,” said Haines.

Family members tell us little Darshan Kharel was a special needs child, who had just had open heart surgery.

KOLD News 13 spoke to the child’s parents, who said they had just migrated to the U.S. from Nepal.

They described Kharel as a very active child, who loved to play outside. His father was the only one who could understand what the boy was saying.

Cousin Hari Manilal told KOLD News 13, the family was devastated.

Neighbors were saddened to hear the news as well.

“I started to cry. It’s just an innocent child. Just a baby,” said Lewis.

Tucson police are still investigating the death.

Tucson Firefighters have a reminder for all parents. Drowning is the leading cause of death in Arizona, for children under the age of 4.

Remember the ABC’s of water safety: Adult supervision, barriers, and classes. It is 100% preventable.

This is the thirteenth water-related incident involving a child in Pima County so far this year.

There have been 9 near drowning incidents and 3 actual drowning incidents in Pima County, in addition to this incident.

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