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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 April 2007, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
Toddler dies in water container
Police take evidence from the house where the child died.
Police removed evidence from the home where the child died.
A toddler has died after falling into a water container in the garden of a house in Hampshire.

Paramedics were called to the house in the Weeke area of Winchester on Friday evening after a report that a 15-month-old boy had fallen into water.

They treated the boy at the scene and he was then taken to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, but he died later.

Hampshire Police said they were treating the incident as sudden death.

"The child was found floating in a garden water container," said a spokeswoman.

Our hearts go out to the family who must be absolutely devastated
Gina Evans, neighbour

The spokeswoman said the water container had been buried in the garden by a previous resident.

"The mother was looking for the child but could not find it," she added.

"Another child was looking out of a window and shouted to the mother that the little boy was in the water."

'Terrible tragedy'

The mother then pulled the baby out and emergency services were called.

Officers have taken away a number of objects for closer examination, including a 2ft-deep cylindrical container.

Neighbour Gina Evans said: "This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the family who must be absolutely devastated."

The identity of the dead child has not yet been released by police.

'Hard for parents'

Roger Vincent, a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) said about eight children under the age of five drowned in garden ponds or other water features in the UK each year.

"Your heart goes out to the parents in these circumstances," he said.

"The age of the child in this case is a time when they are getting about and it's hard for parents to keep an eye on them all the time."

A post-mortem examination is scheduled for next week.

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