Three family members drown in backyard pool during heartbreaking struggle

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Three members of a family have drowned in a backyard swimming pool in what’s being called a “devastating” tragedy.

Bharat Patel, 62, his 33-year old daughter-in-law Nisha Patel and her eight-year-old daughter, whose name was not released, were found unresponsive in the above-ground pool Monday afternoon (local time) in East Brunswick in the US state of New Jersey.

Prosecutors said that while the above-ground pool was mostly shallow at about a metre deep, a portion of the pool was 2.1 metres deep and “it doesn’t appear that the victims knew how to swim.”

Family members cry outside a New Jersey home after three people drowned.
Family and friends of the Patels mourn after their deaths. Source: ABC 7

That’s a claim backed by a source who spoke with NBC.

They claim the girl stepped into the deep end and began to struggle. An aunt called out for help and Mr Patel dived in but had issues rescuing her as he couldn’t swim.

Ms Patel then tried to assist and got in the pool, the source claims, but she also couldn’t swim.

The aunt finally dived in and got to the girl but she had drowned.

Emergency services were called, CPR was performed on all three family members, but they were all pronounced dead at the scene, local police said.

A swimming pool is pictured surrounded by police in New Jersey.
The pool where the three drowned. Source: ABC 7

Brunswick Police Chief Frank Losacco said it was a “devastating day” for the community.

The county’s regional medical examiner determined the cause of death to be drowning and ruled the manner of death as accidental for all three victims.

with The Associated Press

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