Boy dies after Disney pool fall

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The Independent Online

A five-year-old autistic boy on a Christmas trip to Disneyland Paris died after falling in a hotel swimming pool. Colum Canning was quickly discovered in the water by another guest who jumped in and dragged him out, but he had already lost consciousness.

Colum died in hospital on Saturday after his parents, David and Karen, took the decision to switch off his life-support machine. They agreed to donate their son's organs.

Staff at the Thomas Cook-owned Explorers Hotel near the resort confirmed there was no lifeguard on duty when Colum, from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, fell into the water after disappearing from his mother's view.

The Canning family – Colum, his twin brother Kieran, sister Caitlin, seven, and their parents – had just checked in at the three-star hotel when the accident happened.

They had left their home in Londonderry to spend Christmas in Disneyland as a special treat for the brothers' birthday on Boxing Day.

Gerry Cosgrave, the headmaster of St Eithne's Primary School, where Colum was a pupil, said: "It's such a terrible tragedy, especially coming so close to Christmas. It's terrible for the family."

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