Page last updated at 08:32 GMT, Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Boy, five, drowns in hotel pool

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Family friend Linda McConnell said the child would be sadly missed

A five-year-old boy from Londonderry has drowned after he fell into a hotel swimming pool near the Disneyland Resort in Paris.

Colum Canning, from Springtown Road, fell into the pool at the Explorers hotel on Thursday.

His aunt, Sophie Martin Canning, said Colum was a "lovely" five year old who was "full of mischief" and inseparable from his twin brother Kieran.

It is expected that Colum's remains will return to Derry on Christmas Eve.

Mrs Martin Canning said the family had gone to Paris with their parents, David Bradley and Karen Canning and their seven-year-old sister, Caitlin, for Christmas.

It was also to celebrate the twins' birthday on Boxing Day.

They had been at the hotel for about an hour when the accident happened.

"They were playing down on the ground floor of the hotel at a play area, as children do, when my sister in law lost sight of him for a second... and she ran searching for him."

It is understood another child spotted him in the water and a Scottish man jumped into the pool and rescued him.

"He was pulled out of the water. There was a doctor who came to the scene. But they said there was no hope."

Mrs Martin Canning said Colum was put on a life support machine which was turned off on Saturday. His parents decided to donate his organs.

She said a police inquiry was ongoing and it could take up to 10 working days to get the child's body home.

"Colum was a lovely five-year-old boy. He was loving and full of mischief. The twins were inseparable. They just could not be separated ever," she said.

Devoted mother

A friend of the family, Donna Grant, said Colum's mother was devoted to her children.

"We're all in shock and just waiting for her to come home," she said.

"I've tried to imagine how she's feeling but I couldn't, there's no way I could imagine how she's feeling.

"She's always so protective with the children, she always had the two of them by the hand and always knows what they're at, never ever has she let them out of her sight," she said.

A spokesperson from Thomas Cook said their "deepest sympathy" was with the family at this "incredibly difficult and painful time".

"Staff at the hotel are doing everything they can to support the family."

Print Sponsor

Glasgow Evening Times Birthday boy, 5, dies in hotel pool - 31 hrs ago
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Guardian Unlimited Boy, five, drowns in Disneyland Paris hotel pool while on Christmas break - 33 hrs ago
Glasgow Herald Boy drowns in pool less than hour into family holiday - 33 hrs ago
The Scotsman Disney trip boy, 5, dies in hotel pool - 34 hrs ago

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