Laurel V Williams
A THREE-YEAR-OLD girl was found unresponsive in an inflatable pool at her home on Monday afternoon.
Police said Maria Khan was found in a small inflatable pool in the family’s front yard at Maharaj Trace off Bedeau Street. She was frothing from the nose and was declared dead on arrival at San Fernando General Hospital.
The girl lived with her 22-year-old mother Mary Mahabir and other relatives including a great uncle and great grandparents in a two-storey house.
Maria’s great grandmother Karen Mahabir, 62, recalled that before she went to take a shower shortly after 2 pm on Monday, she told a close relative to look after the infant.
In tears, Mahabir said that about 25 minutes later, she heard sirens and assumed it was from a passing police vehicle. She said she was horrified when she realised an ambulance had pulled up at her home. Mahabir said that other relatives told her that Maria had drowned. “I started to bawl. I don’t know what happened. Is only two weeks now I put that pool there. I still cannot believe this.” The child’s mother is Mahabir’s granddaughter.
Mahabir said that Maria had spent a week at the hospital and was discharged two Saturdays ago. She said she was not told what led to the child being warded.
“Since she was discharged from hospital, she stayed upstairs with me. The Monday after she left the hospital, we (relatives) put that pool there. Once I am outside, I would sit and watch her as she played in the pool,” Mahabir said. The girl’s mother was not at home at the time Newsday visited.
In January 2020, gunmen shot and killed the girl’s father Roger Khan, 23, while he slept at his home in Land Settlement, Ecclesville, Rio Claro.
In an unrelated case, seven-year-old Asaiah Josiah of Couva, was declared dead last Tuesday afternoon after being fished out of a swimming pool in Tableland, where the family was visiting relatives. Police have ruled Asaiah’s death as an accidental drowning.
Investigations are ongoing into the death of Maria Khan and an autopsy has been scheduled for later this week.