Three teenagers have, in two separate incidents, drowned in a swimming pool and a stagnant pool.
The two incidents occurred at New Aplaku in the Ga South municipality in the Greater Accra Region and Asarekrom, near Gomoa Buduburam in the Gomoa East District in the Central Region last Saturday.
Oliver Ayertei Tetteh, 17, a second-year student of the St John’s Grammar School in Accra, and Christabel Agyekumwaa, also 17 and a second-year student of the Methodist SHS in Saltpond in the Central Region, got drowned in a swimming pool at the Lion of Judah Foods and Events Centre at Aplaku.
The third person, Patrick Nyarko, 17, a final-year student of the Opeikuma D/A Junior High School (JHS), was found dead in a stagnant pool left at an abandoned quarry site at Asarekrom.
Oliver’s uncle, Fred Tetteh, told the Daily Graphic that his nephew and Christabel had been friends from JHS.
He said last Saturday, Oliver told his father that he had a challenge with his phone and so he wanted to go to Kasoa to have it repaired.
Apparently, he said, his nephew first went to Christabel’s house and asked her to accompany him to Kasoa to repair his phone.
Mr Tetteh said about 3 p.m. on that fateful day when Oliver had not returned home, Oliver’s father called the boy’s phone several times but there was no response, although it was ringing.
“My brother then said his son might be in a noisy environment, but 30 minutes later, Christabel’s grandfather, Williams Amoah, called my brother to tell him that his granddaughter had told him that he was going out with Oliver but attempts to reach her on phone had proved futile,” he said.
Mr Tetteh said when his brother told Mr Amoah that he too had been calling his son without any success, they agreed that the youngsters might be in an area where music was being played.
Around 4:30 p.m., Mr Tetteh said, they became alarmed and went to the SCC Police Station to report the matter.
He said the police took their telephone numbers and promised to get in touch with them if they had any information on the whereabouts of the two teenagers.
About 6:30 p.m., he said, the police called Christabel’s grandfather and asked him to call Oliver’s father for them to report to the police station to verify information on two teenagers that was available to the police.
“When they got to the police station, the commander told them that a certain woman had called the police to inform them that some children had come to her place to swim but had drowned.
“Immediately the commander showed them the pictures of the deceased, my brother and Mr Amoah confirmed that they were the ones being looked for,” he said.
Mr Tetteh said the woman told the police that the youngsters had gone to the facility to swim at a fee, but she had told them that the person in charge of the pool had travelled and so they should wait for her to get them some live jackets before they entered the pool.
According to him, the woman told the police that when she returned with the jackets, the two had drowned.
“This is the explanation the woman gave to the police,” he said.
Mr Tetteh said the family suspected foul play and wanted thorough investigations into the matter, since there was no way Oliver and Christabel could have drowned within the minute or so she went to pick the jackets, as the distance from the pool to where she was going for the jackets was quite short.
From the pictures, Oliver wore a singlet and a pair of boxer shorts, while Christabel was in a dress, a pair of shoes and a wristwatch.
He said the family was yet to see the woman who owned and operated the facility, although the police said she had been detained.
Mr Amoah also called for detailed investigations into the matter because Christabel had told him that she and Oliver were going to visit their former school.
A distraught Josephine Amoah, Christabel’s mother, told journalists that her daughter had left home about 9 a.m, when Oliver, a family friend, asked her to accompany him to repair his phone at Kasoa.
However, she said, the two failed to return, only for her father to break the news of their death to her later in the night.
In the other case of drowning, Nyarko’s father, Kwaku Owusu, said he was heartbroken by the passing of his son.
He said his son, whose body was retrieved from the stagnant pool last Sunday afternoon, lived with his mother at Opeikuma, saying he did not know how the incident happened.
Efforts by the Daily Graphic to get a response from the police on the incidents were unsuccessful.