A17-year-old novice swimmer died this morning after he drowned in a swimming pool at College Square. Following the incident, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has ordered the suspension of all swimming activities in the club from Monday.
The deceased, identified as Md. Shahbaz, drowned at around 6.30 this morning while he was practising in the swimming pool managed by Calcutta University Institute’s Swimming Section. According to sources, the youth was a novice swimmer and he was supposed to swim in an enclosed area with shallow water.
But he is suspected to have somehow left the area and landed up in the main pool, where the water is much deeper. Later, his body was fished out by members of disaster management group of Kolkata Police, nearly two hours after he was reported missing. The deceased was a resident of Sudhir Bose Road in Ekbalpore.
The body has been sent to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital for autopsy. Police said investigation is on to ascertain the exact cause of his death. In the wake of the incident, questions have surfaced concerning lapses on the part of the management of the swimming club.
Locals questioned how the boy had landed up in the main section of the pool, separate from the section where novice swimmers practice, and why there was no trainer to ensure he did not go there. One of the swimmers of the club said: “The beginners are not allowed to go into the deeper section of the pool.”
A diver, who was part of the rescue team, said: “We had to swim right to the bottom where we found his body.” It may be mentioned that this is the second such incident that has unfolded in this swimming pool in recent times.
In 2017, Kajal Dutta, a 72 year-old-man, who was an expert swimmer, went missing after he got into the same swimming pool. His body, fished out of the water after a 20-hour-long search, was found trapped under a wooden structure at the diving zone of the swimming pool.
In the wake of today’s incident, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has stopped all swimming activities in the College Square swimming club. Mr Debashish Kumar, member mayor-in-council (MMIC), parks and squares, said “We are shutting down all swimming activities in the club from Monday onwards.
Till the investigation is completed, no swimming will be allowed there. In an earlier incident, we had shut down the College Square swimming pool after a man drowned in the pool.” “The club had then had to agree with some terms and conditions set by the civic body regarding safety and security. But again, such an incident has occurred and we will ask for a detailed report from the club. If any lapse is observed, appropriate action will be taken,” he said.