By Isha Sesay • 29 December 2019 • 11:10
Image: @PontasAgency/ Twitter
IN the wake of the Club La Costa World tragedy which claimed the lives of three people and shocked the community across the Costa del Sol, Spain, the family’s lawyer has called for there to be secondary investigation.
Lawyer Javier Toro, who is acting on behalf of the Diya family, has spoken to local reporters and said that “three people do not drown on the same day by chance” and added that the “family are not satisfied with the interpretation of the deaths to be a simple accident.”
Mr Toro also reaffirmed that during statements made to the Guardia Civil, Olubunmi Diya, a grieving widow who has last both her husband and two children, had “never said that the three family members who died didn’t know how to swim”, contrary to reports. He added that the swimming pool has a “peculiar concave shape” that could have led to the tragedy, together with a possible malfunction of the suction system.
In a statement released by legal representatives, Mrs Diya had strongly denied that she informed the police or any other person that Gabriel, 52, Comfort, 9, and Praise-Emmanuel, 16, could not swim.
The mother explained that the five family members were together in the pool area of the Club La Costa complex when the accident occurred and the children were never “unsupervised” and “at all times” followed the instructions displayed by the poolside.
She added that the children went into the pool using the steps but found themselves dragged into the middle, which was deeper, and then desperately called for help when they could not get out.
She said: “My daughter did not fall into the water. My husband went in via the steps trying to hep the two struggling children while I ran to the nearby apartments shouting for help to assist my husband. By the time assistance came, the three of them were under the water.”
She added: “I believe something was wrong with the pool that must have made swimming difficult for them at that point in time.”
This contradicts statements released by the Guardia Civil on Friday, December 27, which indicated that the investigation into the deaths pointed to a “tragic accident” due to the “lack of expertise” that the victims could not swim.
The hotel operator CLC World Resorts and Hotels had also said that “diligent and exhaustive” police investigations confirmed the pool was working “normally” and there was “no malfunction of any kind”.
However, Mr Toro has indicated that, although they trust the Guardia Civil, that when they have access to the investigative notes, they will launch a parallel investigation to clarify “the cause of the tragic event.”
As speculation is rife around the case, tributes have poured in for the family, who were loved by their local community, family and friends after the incident took place on Christmas Eve at the popular resort in Malaga’s Fuengirola.
Pastor Agu Irukwu of the Redeemed Christian Church of God described Mr Diya as a “loving husband and devoted father”, and a “humble, friendly and a committed pastor and Christian leader” to his congregation in Charlton, which is located in southeast London.
The headteacher at Comfort’s primary school also remembered the young child as “the most wonderfully kind, thoughtful, caring pupil” who was a “role model for all her peers”.
Jo Marchant, executive headteacher at Windrush Charlton primary school, also said the little girl would be “greatly missed by the whole school community, adults and children alike”.
She added that the “extremely distressing news” had “devastated” everyone at the school, and support would be provided for pupils or parents who needed it.
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