8-Year-Old Drowns After Getting Sucked Into Hotel Pool Pipe

(Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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An eight-year-old girl drowned Saturday after getting sucked into a pipe in a hotel pool in northwest Houston.

Authorities discovered that the child, who went missing from the Double Tree Hotel around 6:00 p.m., was pulled into the pipe underwater, ABC 13 reported.

Three teams of emergency personnel – the Houston Police Department (HPD), the Houston Fire Department (HFD) and the nonprofit EquuSearch – were called in to track down the missing child. Tim Miller, founder of Texas EquuSearch, told the outlet he first thought the eight-year-old girl may have been kidnapped when he learned that she was last seen by the swimming pool.

“Did she wander off? Did somebody take her, or what? So, anyhow, we mobilized a lot of people. We had people actually searching outside and in different rooms and everything,” Miller said. “This is one of the saddest ones we’ve seen in a good while.”

Miller said that rescuers attached cameras from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to the end of long poles, which they used to check the pool’s pipes after draining the water, the outlet reported. The EquuSearch founder explained that the poles were nearly 20 feet inside the pipes when rescuers spotted the child’s hand and part of her body, which prompted them to bring back the fire department. (RELATED: Man Plunges Into 9/11 Memorial Pool, Survives)

“She was wedged in there so very, very tight,” Miller told the outlet. “I don’t think she decided, ‘I am going to swim in here and see what’s here.'”

Miller said that rescuers spent 13 hours working to recover the drowned child’s body from the pipe. He attributed her entrapment to some kind of malfunction, according to the outlet. Houston police are conducting an investigation into the incident.

“I am not a lawyer by [any] means, but 100% someone needs to be held accountable,” Miller said, the outlet reported.