A backyard swimming pool where an Adelaide toddler died in the “worst imaginable tragedy” had previously been found not to comply with safety rules, an inquest has heard.
South Australian Deputy Coroner Anthony Schapel is investigating the death of 19-month-old Crystal Trinh, who drowned in her aunt’s backyard pool in 2016.
The inquest was told that the local Salisbury council had found in late 2014 that double gates leading to the pool did not comply with regulations.
But the council had not followed up to ensure the problems, which included a lack of self-closing mechanism, were fixed.
Counsel assisting, Ahura Kalali, said it was amid those circumstances that Crystal managed to gain access to the pool area after being left outside the fence by her mother.
“Somehow she ended up in the swimming pool without being seen and that ended in the worst imaginable tragedy,” Mr Kalali said.
“How did she manage to get inside the pool gates is a question we will be asking.”
The young girl was pulled from the water unconscious and not breathing, and after receiving CPR was rushed to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and placed on life support.
Doctors determined that she had suffered significant brain damage and that her prognosis was grim.
She died two days later when life support was withdrawn.
The inquest was told that the home where the pool was located also operated as a family day care service, but that Crystal’s visit with her parents on the day of the incident was purely a social occasion.
But Mr Kalali said the inquiry would consider how the North Metro Family Day Care Scheme approved the use of the home despite the fact that the Salisbury council had found issues with the pool.
It would also investigate the actions of the council, he said.
“This inquest will look at how the City of Salisbury Council found the swimming pool non-compliant but failed to provide a date for the work to be completed,” he said.
“How the City of Salisbury did not follow up the process of the non-compliance.”
The inquest was continuing.
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