A nine-year-old Aitkenvale girl died after being pulled from the Ross River at Rossiter Park. Picture: Evan Morgan
A nine-year-old Aitkenvale girl died after being pulled from the Ross River at Rossiter Park. Picture: Evan Morgan

Drowning: ‘Innocent play’ turns deadly

A YOUNG girl who tragically drowned in the Ross River was playing with her twin sister close to its banks when they possibly fell in the water, police say.

Townsville Child Protection Investigation Unit officer in charge detective Senior Sergeant Dave Miles said the group of children were playing in Rossiter Park Aitkenvale yesterday afternoon when tragedy struck.

The girls, both aged 9, were not swimming at the time.

Sen-Sgt Miles said detectives were investigating how the girls ended up in the water but it appeared they may have been playing too close to the edge of the river, and had possibly fallen.

"We now know at this stage that neither of those girls were apt at swimming and as a result, members of the public and family went into the water to assist them," Sen-Sgt Miles said.

"One child was able to be removed from the water, sadly a second child went under the water and was unable to be located for approximately another 30 minutes."

The alarm was raised about a minute after the girl entered the water by a group of people who had been in the park.

The nine-year-old was pulled out of the water and rushed to hospital just before 5.30pm, but died shortly after.

The girls, from Aitkenvale, were known to frequent the park.

The girl was playing with a group of other children when the incident occurred.

"It's extremely tragic circumstances," Sen-Sgt Miles said. "We have a situation here where there are a large number of people present. There was nothing untoward happening, it was innocent play that's taken a tragic set of circumstances."

A report will be prepared for the coroner.


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